The M6 Toll connects M6 Junction 4 at the NEC to M6 Junction 11A at Wolverhampton with 27 miles (43 km) of six-lane motorway. Proposals were initially circulated in 1980. There followed two public enquiries, one in 1989 and another in 1994. Midland Expressway Ltd were awarded the contract in 1991 and construction work started in 2002. The M6 Toll was opened in December 2003.
Freyssinet was engaged by Midland Expressway Ltd to carry out inspections on a number of structures on the M6 Toll Road. During these inspections, it was identified that existing longitudinal guide bearings on the River Cole Bridge were defective. These bridge bearings were adopted by the toll road from existing road networks. Freyssinet were then instructed to provide a solution to re-instate the required guidance of the deck.
Once the technical solution proposed by Freyssinet had been agreed with the Client’s engineers, Mouchel Ltd, Freyssinet designed, manufactured and installed 12no new mechanical guided bridge bearings. Once these bearings were operational, the existing 24no defective bearings were removed and the bearing shelf local to these bridge bearings were re-instated to the original dimensions.
The bridge carries the M6 Toll Road over the River Cole. This posed a number of issues which had to be agreed with the Environment Agency. The works were all undertaken in a flood plain of the River Cole. The Environment Agency requested that nothing was left in the flood plain to prevent blockages down stream in the event of a flood. To ensure compliance with the above, we designed the scaffolds to be fully fixed to the bridge, so that if a flood did occur, the scaffolds could not be washed away. This required significant liaison with the Environment Agency to ensure that the flood defence consent was agreed. The works were completed on programme on budget and both the client and the Environment Agency were pleased with the outcome.