Widening of the M1 junctions 6a to 10 will reach a critical stage this weekend as demolition of a 1950's reinforced concrete bridge is forcing a 13 hour closure of the motorway.
But football fans heading up to watch the Manchester United/Chelsea match at Old Trafford need not worry as contractors say the demolition will be completed by 9am on Sunday morning.Bridge demolition expert, Armac, working for the Balfour Beatty/Skanska joint venture, will use 12 hydraulic excavators fitted with pinching shears to peck away at the deck of Slip End Bridge. As the structure weakens the deck will eventually collapse onto timber mats protecting the carriageway below.The work is part of the Highways Agency scheme to widen the M1 between junction 6A and junction 10 from three lanes to four. Slip End Bridge is typical of the 1950's bridges constructed over the M1. It has a voided reinforced concrete deck weighing approximately 1400tonnes and is supported by three concrete piers.Four breakers will work on either side of the main deck span with two on each of the side spans.