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£24m to fix M6 viaduct

NUTTALL has won a £24 million contract to refurbish the M6 Thelwall viaduct in Cheshire just seven years after a more expensive revamp.

The 1.4 km-long structure, which carries traffic across the Manchester Ship Canal near Warrington, has been hit by a series of problems with its bearings. It was built in 1963 and refurbished by Amec in 1996 at a cost of £27 million.

An inspection by the Highways Agency last year found 17 bearings had cracked and a further 20 have failed since. All 136 roller bearings will be replaced.

A new structure running parallel to the Thelwall viaduct was built at the same time as the 1996 refurbishment and has been taking all six lanes of traffic since last June's discovery.