Highways England is carrying out repairs to the structure over the next two weekends and needs to close parts of the A56 and M66 from 10pm each Friday until 6am each Monday to allow the work to take place.
Only one carriageway will be affected by the closures each weekend, allowing drivers to continue to travel in the opposite direction as normal.
Contractors are resurfacing the bridge to remove potholes as well as re-waterproofing it so that it can be safely used for many years to come. Road users will be able to follow clearly-signed diversion routes when stretches of the road are closed.
Louise Baxendale, Project Manager at Highways England, said:
The resurfacing and waterproofing is vital maintenance work which will result in smoother and safer journeys for drivers.
We need to close stretches of the A56 and M66 over the next two weekends to carry out this work and prevent problems with the bridge developing in the future.
The scheme is taking place at weekends when the roads are generally quieter and drivers will be able to follow clearly-signed diversion routes.
The northbound carriageway will be closed this weekend (Friday 31 July – Monday 3 August) along the 5-mile stretch of the M66 which merges into the A56, from junction 1 at Ramsbottom up to the A56 junctions with the A682 in Rawtenstall and Manchester Road in Rossendale.
The southbound carriageway will then be closed over the following weekend (Friday 7 – Monday 10 August) during the same times and between the same junctions.
There will be a temporary ‘no waiting’ restriction along Market Street in Edenfield from the junction with East Street to the A676 Bury Road to allow for the increase is traffic being diverted along the route. Short stay parking will also be restricted but residents’ parking will be unaffected by the work.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.