50 years since Tinsley Viaduct opened to motorists in Sheffield

Tinsley Viaduct.
Tinsley Viaduct.
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As far as roads go, it is certainly one of, if not the most well-known in Sheffield.

Following the demolition of the the cooling towers, Tinsley Viaduct has become an almost unofficial welcome to the Steel City for any motorists heading into Sheffield from the north.

The demolition of the Tinsley Cooling Towers.

The demolition of the Tinsley Cooling Towers.

Sheffielders returning home from a journey north know they are home or almost home when they cross the viaduct.

And this month marks 50 years since the huge two-tier road, which carries both the M1 and the A631, was first built.

The two-tier 3,389 feet long stretch of road next to Meadowhall contains 12,500 tonnes of steel and 81,000 tonnes of concrete.

It cost £6 million to build back in 1968 but has not been short of problems with highways engineers carrying out no fewer than 12 different maintenance schemes on the upper deck, including waterproofing, safety barrier works and structural work.

The Tinsley M1 Viaduct under construction - Picture taken February 26, 1967.

The Tinsley M1 Viaduct under construction - Picture taken February 26, 1967.

Highways England also carried out a four-year strengthening project between 2002 and 2006 to ensure the road complied with standards on heavy good vehicles on motorways.

The M1 on the upper-deck was also transformed into a smart motorway in March 2017 and a nine-month maintenance programme of works are also being planned for later this year.

Russell Mclean, Highways England project manager, said: “Tinsley Viaduct is a unique piece of our network which would have required vital engineering skills to build and as this is the year of engineering what a fantastic way to mark its 50th anniversary.

“We know how important this structure is in Sheffield and that is why we carry out regular inspections to ensure it remains in good working order and continues to provide a vital road link for the community.

“This summer we will be carrying out various maintenance improvements to the lower deck of the viaduct. This includes resurfacing the full lower deck, replacing around 2.5
miles of safety barrier and waterproofing the steel structure.

“Over the next few months we will be working closely with key stakeholders to ensure that when work does start we are able to keep disruption to a minimum as much as
possible.”

Mr McClean said the works were expected to take around nine months to complete and full details will be released later this year.