Civil Engineering


M53 Bridge Demolition

ECI delivers efficiencies and customer benefits

The M53 Moreton north bridge carried the J2 southbound entry slip road over the motorway. At 50 years old, it had reached the end of its serviceable life and required replacement by a new structure.

Carnell were tasked with the removal of the bridge, and through Early Contractor Involvement, successfully delivered a value-engineered solution, leading to significant cost-savings and improved outcomes for the customer.

Rather than demolishing the bridge in-situ, the 800-tonne bridge deck would be removed using a self-propelled modular transporter (SMPT). This would relocate the bridge to a laydown area for demolition off-network, allowing the carriageway to be opened quicker. This however required enabling works, such as changes to the drainage, strengthening the verges and barrier removal.

Working in collaboration with the client National Highways, principal designer Amey, specialist demolition contractor O’Gara and other framework partners, improvements were made to the design.

The benefits of ECI

Using our drainage expertise we reduced the number of new manholes required from 4 to 1, by using Y-branches and connecting on to existing carrier pipe. This saved £59,000 and 10 shifts work which would have required deep excavation in the central reserve and the associated lane closures and speed restrictions for road users.

Recognising the presence of 200 homes within 200m, demolition was restricted to day-time hours rather than 24/7.

Early engagement allowed thorough investigation of the laydown area, and preparation for access and resources.

“The successful completion of the complex bridge move is a testament to the value that Early Contractor Involvement adds. Changes were made to the original bridge removal methodology to overcome the project constraints, resulting in cost-savings and reduced disruption to our customers. By working in collaboration with National Highways and the framework partners, we safely delivered a value-engineered solution.”


  • Zero accidents across all activities (enabling works, bridge move and demolition).
  • Less central reservation works reduced roadworker exposure.
  • Working methods revised to ad-here to Covid-19 guidance.
  • Off-site demolition minimised duration of road closure and diversions.
  • Road closures lifted 12 hours early, reducing disruption to road users.
  • Consideration of nearby residents regarding demolition activities.
  • ECI led to design changes that delivered £59k efficiency savings.
  • Value engineering the design reduced site programme by approximately 10 shifts.
  • Proficient planning ensured delivery on time and to budget.