Connecting communities – new footbridge installed over A45

Press release 05/05/2022 12:53 CET

The successful installation of the new 92-tonne bridge is a key milestone in Skanska’s delivery of the £282m upgrade to M42 junction 6 for National Highways.

Footbridge being lowered into position over the A45

As part of a complex nighttime operation across Saturday 30 April and Sunday 1 May, the near 60m long bridge was successfully lowered into position above the busy A45 in Solihull, West Midlands. See time-lapse footage here 

Two cranes and a team of 30 people were involved in the operation. The bridge is now in position, with ramp steelwork, back of wall drainage and lighting to be completed before it opens to the public later this year. 

Using digital technology, 4D model and Site Vision, the bridge lift was initially tested in a safe digital space in the months leading up to the operation. This ensured that the on-site lift and placement could be performed safely and to schedule, making sure that the A45  could be opened as planned on time helping to keep disruption to a minimum. 
“Since the project started more than 18 months ago, we have been working towards delivering this critical piece of infrastructure”, said Chris Good, Project Director, Skanska. “It has involved an incredible amount of design, planning and logistics management and we’re delighted to have completed it successfully, safely and on schedule. 

“The collaborative approach of our entire team, from National Highways, Mott MacDonald, Skanska and the supply chain and key stakeholders has led to this successful outcome. A huge thanks to everyone involved.”

The bridge will enable people to walk and cycle safely over the A45 between Clock Interchange Island and Junction 6 of the M42 near the Arden Hotel. 

National Highways Programme Lead, Anita Prashar, said: “This new time-lapse footage shows the methodical and complex work of lowering the new bridge into place as part of our upgrade at M42 junction 6.  

“We’re keen to make sure that this scheme benefits the local community as well as motorists and this new footbridge will make crossing the A45 much safer and easier for pedestrians and cyclists.  

“The installation of the footbridge is a key milestone in the project and we’re making good progress on the upgrade of junction 6, which once complete will make journeys much smoother for motorists.” 

The bridge was manufactured by Skanska’s Fabrications business and is the biggest bridge structure it has built to date. A team of 50 people were involved in the project, from the initial design stage and throughout the manufacturing and installation process.

Skanska’s Fabrication Business Stream Director Steve Joynson said: “Our specialist team were able to apply their extensive knowledge and experience to all stages of the project. Utilising the lifting capability of our workshop in Doncaster meant we could fabricate the bridge offsite and then install on-site, ensuring improved safety and quality outcomes – the team has done a fantastic job.”

Once complete, the project will support the planned development by improving access to HS2 (High Speed 2), the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and Birmingham Airport.

The upgrades will lead to the construction of: 

  • A new 2.4km dual carriageway link road, aligned to the west of Bickenhill
  • A new junction (5a) on the M42 motorway, approximately 1.8km south of the existing M42 Junction 6 (Solihull)
  • Two new roundabouts north of the B4102 Solihull Road on either side of the M42 motorway