One of Birmingham’s main city centre routes is to be closed for eight months as part of major repair works.
The Lancaster Circus flyover will be closed at night so that vital joints and supports can be replaced and improved on the decked bridge that runs through the busy centre of the city.
Gritting salt has been eating into the concrete and steel of the structure, which was built at the same time as nearby Spaghetti Junction, which was found to be crumbling in 2007.
The iconic 37-year-old junction and stilted section of motorway is maintained by the Highways Agency, but the council has responsibility for the A38 and the major roads that run through the city centre.
A spokeswoman for the city council’s highways department said: “Recent inspections and assessments have identified the need for protection works to the joints and supports of Lancaster flyover, including waterproofing, cathodic protection (corrosion prevention) and replacement of carriageway movement joints.
“The scheme is an essential part of the city council’s bridge strengthening maintenance programme.
“Significant delays and disruption of traffic are not anticipated as the flyover will only be closed between 10pm and 6am (off-peak) periods when traffic using the flyover will be diverted around Lancaster Circus.”
In December 2007, Highways Agency engineers effectively propped up a large section of Spaghetti Junction after salt started attacking the concrete.
The supports are still under the 80-foot high slip road on to the A38 Aston Expressway from the M6 northbound.
The Highways Agency has been focussing on repairing the huge columns and supports nearby, at Salford Circus.
Those works have seen the overhaul of concrete columns and supporting crossbeams on eight bridge deck supports.
The agency said the stilted sections of the Midlands network were now on a virtual rolling repair schedule.
They have already assigned repairs up until 2040 and they spend about £12 million every year to maintain all 21km of raised sections of the M6 and M5 in the Birmingham area.
The council has approved a £2.7 billion Highways Private Finance Initiative for maintaining its road network.
Engineering giants Amey won the contract to manage the network last week. The private sector firm will sign a deal with the city council, promising to pour a record-breaking £350 million into repairing roads and pavements and providing thousands of street lights in the first five years of a 25-year contract.