M42 Junction 6 Improvements (BR12) Farm Access Bridge

West Midlands, UK

A new farm access bridge was needed as part of the new link road project connecting the M42 to Birmingham airport. The bridge has a 33.5m single span with fully integral bankseats, supported directly on Tensar reinforced soil abutments. Integral bankseats carry both vertical and horizontal deck loading, transferring these loads onto the TensarTech® TW3™ abutments.


  • Reduced maintenance as a direct result of adopting a fully integral bridge abutment design that avoids the need for deck expansion
  • No departure from standard approval required from National Highways as the TensarTech TW3 system has BBA/HAPAS Certification
  • Lower carbon solution compared to reinforced concrete abutments. This aligns with National Highways carbon cutting objectives
Client's Challenge

The bridge design comprises a single span multigirder steel/concrete composite deck, supported on fully integral bankseats, transferring vertical and lateral loads to the abutments. This solution requires no expansion joints, reducing future maintenance needs. A proven reinforced soil abutment system was required to carry the high vertical and horizontal bankseat loadings. The solution needed a certified 120-year design life with a precast concrete facing.

Tensar Solution

Skanska engaged Tensar following successful collaboration on similar schemes. Tensar proposed the BBA/HAPAS Certified TensarTech TW3 wall system for the load bearing abutments and wing walls. Tensar took responsibility for the design of the reinforced soil structures, working closely with Skanska’s bridge design partner, Mott McDonald. TensarTech System components were then supplied by Tensar.