VIP opening for new A533 Expressway Bridge

15 June 2023
Ariel view of a roadside construction site.
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The opening of Cheshire’s new £27 million A533 Expressway bridge over the M56 near Runcorn has been celebrated with a VIP tree planting ceremony.

National Highways’ newest bridge – linking businesses and communities on both sides of the motorway - opened to traffic in April and a delicate operation to demolish and remove the old bridge was completed last month during two weekend closures of the motorway.

The project, which was awarded by National Highways to AmeySRM, combined skills in bridge engineering and road maintenance, including design, demolition and construction.

The completion of the 18-month project was marked by local MP for Weaver Vale Mike Amesbury planting a beech tree sapling on the northern side of the new bridge.

Mr Amesbury said: “I am delighted to help celebrate the completion of the A533 replacement bridge project. My constituency straddles both sides of the motorway and I know the new bridge will be crucial in connecting friends and families, commuters and businesses, for many years to come.

“Traffic disruption has been inevitable at key moments in the programme so thank you to everyone for their patience.

“I’d also like to thank and congratulate National Highways - and all the firms involved in the construction - for completing the project on time.”

The new, 67-metre, two-span concrete bridge, consisting of a single two-lane carriageway and a combined footpath and cycleway, secures the primary A533 road link between Runcorn and Northwich. The deck for the new bridge was built in a field on the southern side of the motorway and during a weekend closure of the M56 in November was carefully wheeled along the carriageway and lifted into place onto newly-constructed concrete piers.

The old bridge, sandwiched between the new one and the prominent arched bridge carrying the West Coast main railway line over the motorway, was near the end of its life. The old bridge was located right alongside the new one making its demolition one of the more challenging aspects of the project – and its demolition last month now features in a new National Highways video (

Senior officials from National Highways and project lead contractors AmeySRM also attended today’s event.

Sir Andrew McAlpine, representing the AmeySRM partnership, said: “This project has presented the AmeySRM team with numerous technical challenges. As well as installing a new bridge over the motorway during a weekend closure, the team have completed the demolition of the old bridge between the new one and the railway line and have diverted major utilities serving millions of people in Runcorn, Halton and wider Merseyside region. What the team has achieved in the last 18 months is incredibly impressive and testament to the collaborative spirit and commitment to excellence which have characterised this project.”

Stewart Jones, National Highways’ major projects director for the North West, said: “National Highways is committed to investing in the people who live and work alongside the motorway network. We are pleased we’ve been able to deliver the project – including the tricky demolition of the old bridge - on time with the new bridge now open for nearly two months and future-proofing connectivity over the M56 for many years to come.

“Over the last 18 months we have worked hard to minimise disruption to people using the bridge and motorway but would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their patience especially during last month’s motorway closures for the bridge demolition.”

Some overnight finishing work is taking place on the bridge this month. Anyone seeking more information on this or the wider project can visit a dedicated project webpage (

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