Bridge lift completed ahead of schedule
Posted on: 20 November 2017
A new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the M5 at Exeter has successfully been lifted into place over the weekend.
The 60-metre span Tithebarn Lane bridge was positioned alongside the existing overbridge, just north of Junction 29 of the motorway, overnight on Saturday evening.
It took 3.5 hours to fully rig the 750 tonne crane and the bridge lift started at 12:30am. The M5 was closed during the lifting operation, but re-opened three hours ahead of schedule on Sunday morning.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste, said: “Everyone should be congratulated for their efforts in making this bridge lift go like clockwork. The contractor, Dyer and Butler, and the bridge supplier, Nusteel, deserve a lot of credit for their excellent advance planning and workmanship which resulted in the operation going so smoothly.”
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “I’m delighted this bridge lift went so well. Opening up the M5 ahead of schedule was a great result as it meant far fewer people had to use the diversion route and it is testament to the collaborative working of all parties involved that a reduced closure was achieved. This bridge will provide another important link for pedestrians and cyclists from the city to the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point.”
As part of the development of the link between Cumberland Way and the Exeter Science Park, the southern footpath on the existing Tithebarn Lane overbridge was removed to create a consistent road width for two-way traffic on the route. The new bridge creates a safe and convenient crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, complementing Redhayes Bridge by creating a greater choice of direct routes across the M5.
The Devon County Council scheme is being funded with money secured from Highways England’s Growth and Housing Fund.
The new road will eventually serve new housing developments at Redhayes and Mosshayne, enabling Anning Drive to return to a private estate road.
Tithebarn Lane is scheduled to remain closed from the junction of Annings Drive to the M5 overbridge until drainage works are completed later this week. The remaining work to the bridge and its approach paths are expected to be completed in February.
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