MOTORISTS planning a trip south this weekend, September 22-23 might want to think again.

The M6 will be closed in both directions for up to 24 hours between junctions 14 (Stafford) and junction 15 (Stoke) as a bridge north of Stafford is dismantled as part of the motorway upgrade.

The 250ft bridge weighs almost 800 tonnes – the same as 60 double decker buses – and will be dismantled over the course of just a few hours. The entire 150-tonne centre section will be lifted clear and taken away in one piece on a 90ft long specialist transporter to a nearby compound.

Other sections of the Creswell Home Farm bridge will be taken away later. The 1961-built bridge contains enough concrete to fill 40 tipper trucks. It will be recycled and used in the construction of the upgraded motorway.

Highways England smart motorways project sponsor, Peter Smith, explained: “This is part of our plan to ultimately improve journeys by adding extra capacity and technology. The bridge is no longer in use and is too narrow for the upgraded motorway which will have an extra lane in each direction. Demolishing it is a big and complex job and to do it safely we need to use both carriageways of the motorway.

“We’re doing all we can to minimise disruption and that is why we are arranging to take the centre section away in one piece, rather than breaking it up which would take more time.

“I’d urge anyone wanting to use the M6 in that area on 22 and 23 September to plan an alternative route to avoid congestion between Stoke and Stafford. Please also allow extra travel time and fuel for your journey.”

The motorway is due to close at 8pm on the Saturday and reopen on the Sunday as soon as work allows. Traffic will be diverted off the M6 between junctions 14 and 15 to the A34 Stone Road. Drivers are warned to expect delays and urged to avoid the area if possible.

Signs will alert motorists to the closure as far away as Dover and Carlisle. Motorists and hauliers travelling between the North West and the Midlands and South of England will be urged to avoid the area by using the M62 and M1.

This is the first of two bridges to be removed. A further 24-hour closure will take place next year to remove the Burton Bank footbridge.

The current public right of way across the motorway will be maintained.

Highways England is turning the hard shoulder into an extra traffic lane on a 17-mile stretch of the M6 between junctions 13 and 15 and installing technology to help keep traffic flowing more smoothly.

It says it will lead to more reliable journeys on a currently heavily congested route.

The central reservation barrier is being upgraded to a safer, concrete design near junction 15 with work limited to a six-mile stretch of narrow lanes.

As this works move south, work will follow behind using contraflow which will speed up the works on the motorway verges and more than halve the number of motorway closures normally required for these works, says Highways England.

The project is due to be completed by March 2022.

More information is available at