The largest concrete repair project ever undertaken in the UK is nearing completion, Highways England has revealed.
Specialist repair teams working on the M5 Oldbury viaduct have completed the majority of concrete repairs on top of the northbound carriageway.
The scheme is also understood to be the largest scaffolding project in Europe, with more than 643KM of scaffolding erected.
Work on the project is being undertaken by BAM Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and VolkerFitzpatrick in a joint venture.
“This work is essential if drivers are to continue using this stretch of the M5 for years to come,” a spokesperson for Highways England said.
Work left on the project includes installing waterproofing material, resurfacing the carriageway and putting down new lane markings, all of which must take place before the existing contraflow can be removed.
“Once that happens, traffic will revert to the correct side of the road, with two lanes running in each direction,” Highways England’s statement confirmed.
Highways England regional director Catherine Brookes added: “We have made really good progress to concrete repairs on the northbound carriageway and we now have around 95% of concrete repairs completed.
“This means that in some parts of the work we’re now able to start applying the waterproofing material and that is an integral part of the work. This material is really important as it will help to protect the structure for years to come and prevent water accessing the concrete that we have repaired.”
The waterproofing material will add an extra layer of protection between the newly-repaired concrete and the road surface, preventing corrosion to the concrete by stopping water from seeping into the structure.
Removal of the contraflow is set to allow specialist repair teams to work either side of the central reservation, thus enabling repairs to damaged concrete in these lanes to take place and repairs to the central barrier.
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