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Tithebarn Lane Footbridge

The project comprised the design and construction of a new 60m span steel pedestrian/cycle bridge over the M5 motorway, just north of Junction 29 in Exeter.

The southern footpath on the existing Tithebarn Lane overbridge was used to create space for the new footbridge as well as provide a consistent road width for two-way traffic on the route.

The design stage of the project involved significant liaison and communications with key stakeholders, Devon County Council and Highways England to obtain Approval in Principle and design acceptance.

Through detailed design and the completion of relevant risk assessments, we determined that the vehicle restraint barriers originally required by Devon County Council on the M5 were not required and therefore subsequently designed out. This offered a substantial saving to the client in the region of £22k.

The main site works included embankment earthworks, construction of raft and piled foundations, reinforced concrete abutments and bankseats, bridge installation, vehicle containment barriers, street lighting, LED handrail lighting, surfacing and soft landscaping works.

The M5 road closure had been booked before the contract was awarded to Dyer & Butler. Despite the discovery of an uncharted water main within one of the proposed bridge foundations, we were able to mitigate any associated delays through reprogramming and weekend working to ensure the works were ready for the road closure on the bridge installation date. Disruption to the M5 was kept to an absolute minimum by having only a single short night-time closure to install the bridge.

The main bridge installation was undertaken within a 10-hour night time closure of the M5 motorway. Advanced information for motorists on the planned night time closure was advertised and clearly displayed on VMS boards well in advance of the bridge installation works. The bridge installation was successfully completed 3½ hours ahead of programme, enabling the early reopening of the motorway.

The bridge was funded by Highways England’s Growth and Housing Fund and now provides a safe and convenient crossing of the M5 for pedestrians and cyclists from the new housing development to the Exeter Science Park and to further planned developments to the east of the City.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste, said “This new bridge has been delivered on time and the contractors Dyer & Butler should be congratulated.”

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