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- By Andy Smith
Work has begun on the erection of 11 motorway bridges at Highways England’s £848m M4 smart motorway project.
The motorway upgrade, situated between junction 3 at Hayes in west London and junction 12 at Theale, near Reading in Berkshire, was set up by Highways England with the aim to reduce congestion through the addition of a new lane.
Highways England awarded the contract to a Balfour Beatty and Vinci joint venture in 2016. The upgrade is due to be completed in 2022.
To complete the work, 11 motorway bridges are being demolished and replaced at various points along the road with larger span structures to fit the additional lanes.
The works also include 131 new gantries and 108 variable message signs for driver updates.
The bridges require 120 huge steel girders, which range in length from 5.8m to 44m.
It took 10 months for the huge girders, which weigh up to 92 tonnes, to be transported from manufacturer Cleveland Bridge’s Darlington base.
The girders were delivered to the project by abnormal load specialist Collett & Sons.
The £848m smart motorway upgrade is due to be completed in 2022.