Go to content

Local road improvements

Improving the local road network in the Interchange Area

To ensure that the local road network is fit for purpose when the future HS2 Interchange Station is operational, we are remodelling and improving the existing network and creating new routes on HS2 land. The creation of this new road network is concentrated near the A452 Chester Road, the A45 Coventry Road and the M42. Early works for HS2 are being carried out by a joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and J. Murphy & Sons, known as LM.
We have been carrying out works near the A452, A45 and M42 since 2018. We refer to this area as the Interchange area because it will be the home of the future HS2 Interchange Station. Located near to the National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham International Airport, Interchange Station will be a major transport gateway for the region, providing high speed rail connections to London, Birmingham and the north of England.

Improving the local road network

Four connecting highways bridges will connect the new road network with existing routes.
The first of these new bridges – a 65-metre structure spanning the width of the M42 – was successfully installed in August 2020. The installation was safely carried out under a weekend closure between junctions 6 and 7 in both directions on Saturday 8 August 2020. Careful planning meant it was completed early and the motorway reopened 22 hours ahead of schedule.
The new highways bridge shortly after being installed over the M42
The new highways bridge shortly after being installed over the M42
We then successfully installed a second bridge over the A446 under a weekend closure along sections of the A452 Chester Road (northbound) and A446 Stonebridge Road (northbound and southbound) between Stonebridge Island and M6 junction 4 in October 2020.
The new highways bridge being installed over the A446

To take traffic over the future railway route, we are continuing to construct two bridges on HS2 land surrounded by the A452, A45 and M42. No traffic measures are required to complete these bridges.

Artist's impression of the new highways bridges over the future HS2 railway route

Innovation in construction minimises local disruption

To minimise disruption in the local area during the construction and installation of our four highways bridges, we’ve adopted a construction method called Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA). This means that we are making the bridge shell units for the modular highways bridges off site, in a factory in Nottinghamshire. Once each unit has been finished, it is brought to the Interchange area and put together at the relevant bridge site.
Traditional methods of bridge building require prolonged road closures and disruptive equipment such as cranes. By using the DfMA method of construction, we’re able to minimise the quantity and duration of traffic measures on the local road network and drastically reduce the time needed to install the bridges.
This method saw the early reopening of the M42 in August 2020 and the A452 and A446 in October 2020. With the safety of the public and our staff at the heart of what we do, adopting off-site construction also allows us to carry out rigorous safety checks on each module before it is installed. This reduces the risk of defects that could result in further road closures to carry out future maintenance.

Connecting the new road network with existing routes

LM will remain operational in the Interchange area until approximately 2022. In preparation for LM’s departure, work sites in the area will be gradually passed to HS2’s main works contractor Balfour Beatty VINCI, known as BBV. This handover is required because each contractor is responsible for developing and connecting different parts of the remodelled and improved road network, in preparation for the future HS2 Interchange Station.
LM will complete the first stage of the network improvements by installing four highways bridges by the end of 2020 (as detailed above). LM will also continue to carry out works and traffic measures on and around Northway Island, including Northway and on the B4438 and A452. This will enable LM to continue to remodel these routes to later be connected to our highways bridge over the M42.
Throughout our works, different stretches of the road network will be affected along different routes for varying durations of time. This phasing will prevent the network becoming overburdened.
Upon the completion of these works, LM will have created a new T-junction and an elongated roundabout, known as a longabout, to the west of the M42, which will replace the current roundabout over the motorway, and a smaller roundabout, both routes to the National Exhibition Centre. In the future, road users and pedestrians will be able to safely access all routes and businesses east of the motorway by using our bridge over the M42.
From mid-2021, BBV will be responsible for remodelling and improving the remainder of the existing network and creating other new routes on HS2 land east of the M42. These works will fully connect the entire network in the area including the four highways bridges.

Where can I get more information?

If you have any questions regarding our works in the Interchange area, please contact the HS2 Helpdesk. You can contact our Helpdesk team all day, every day on: