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WHERE the extension crosses the River Esk a new 200 m bridge needed to be constructed. This would sit alongside the existing bridge which currently carries both lanes of traffic.

Once the new br idge is built it will take traffic in one direction while traffic in opposite direction will go use the existing structure.

Between them the Highways Agency and Car illion didn't have to look to far for the expertise when it came to constructing the new bridge.

This summer the same pairing finished work on the A249 Sheppey Crossing project. The scheme featured a massive 1,270 m crossing of the River Swale that was constructed on one bank of the river before being slid across to the other side.

The bridge push was deemed a huge success so it is no surprise that the same system, put together by specialist Fairfield Mabey, will be used by the M6 team.

'We are going to launch the structure from the north embankment.

It is a steel structure with an in-situ concrete deck. We have learned some lessons from the A249 project, such as the interface with the bearings and the slip method they use for launching.

Obviously there is now confidence in the system, ' says Mr Kennedy.

The number of piers in the river has been reduced from four to two.

Launching the structure from the north bank will reduce the impact on the river and improve safety by minimising work over the river.