M6 Thelwall Viaduct

Project status:   Current
Region:  North West

Start date:   27 February 2014
End date:  September 2014

Type:   Maintenance Scheme
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Maintenance Scheme

Part of our ongoing programme of work to maintain England's strategic road network

Cost:  £2.5 million

Managed by:   Area 10


What is happening?

We are replacing the bridge expansion joints on the Thelwall Viaduct.  This is a large but routine maintenance project.  The joints cross the carriageway and allow the bridge to move safely during changes in the weather and different traffic conditions.  There will also be some resurfacing.  We will be working at the bridge around the clock although sometimes you won’t see any road workers.

When and where is this happening?

The works started on the 27 February 2014 and are expected to be completed in September 2014.  The Thelwall Viaduct is located between junction 20 and 21 of the M6, carrying this important route over the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal.

With five out of the six joints now completed the only joint left is on the northbound carriageway.  Work on this joint will be carried out over the next few weeks under lane closures.  This will also affect the M6 junction exit slip northbound and will require closures.   

During the closures fully signed diversion routes will be in place.


Why is this happening and what will it cost?

The bridge joints have started to fail and we have already had to undertake a couple of urgent repairs, causing delays to drivers.  There is a never a great time to do roadworks but everything wears eventually and needs repair or replacement.  This is the first big scheme here for almost 10 years.

The cost for the scheme is £2.5 million.

How will the scheme be carried out?

Around 160,000 drivers use Thelwall Viaduct every day so congestion from these roadworks is inevitable but we are keeping all four narrow lanes running in each direction.

What are the benefits?

The new bridge joints will extend the life of the bridge, ensuring this vital road link is kept in good working order.  Replacing the joints all in one go will cause less disruption than a series of works.  The new joints will reduce the need for future maintenance and emergency work, giving you a more reliable journey.

How do I find out more information ?

More information will be posted on this project page as it becomes available. You can subscribe to be alerted when updates are made.

If you have any queries about this project you should contact the Highways Agency Information Line by emailing ha_​info@​highways.​gsi.​gov.​uk or calling 0300 123 5000.

Details of scheduled roadworks are provided to help you plan your journey. Please note that works are weather- and resource- dependent and may need to be cancelled at short notice. This information is not updated in real time so please check Traffic England for current traffic conditions. Diversion timings are approximate and act as a guide only.

Will there be roadworks?

Yes, roadworks will be required to allow us to safely replace these bridge joints. This section of motorway is one of the busiest in the country, with around 160,000 drivers using Thelwall Viaduct every day.  We are doing all we can to minimise disruption - please help us by:

  • avoiding the viaduct where possible, especially at peak times
  • driving safely through the road works - there will be heavy plant machinery moving around and narrow lanes as well as oncoming traffic within the contraflow
  • planning your journey - check traffic conditions before setting out and allow extra time.

Sign up for regular email alerts or Twitter updates to get a heads up of our plans.

How will you manage traffic?

Further works on the final joint will be carried out over the next few weeks under lane closures.  This will also affect the M6 junction exit slip northbound and will require closures.

Will there be diversions?

During the closures fully signed diversion routes will be in place.