The new bridge over the M4 at Shinfield began to take shape in early December as the huge steel beams that will support the roadway were dropped into place.

With six lanes to support, the substantial construction project will carry traffic safely over the M4, ultimately leading to the nearby Black Boy Roundabout.

Traffic from there will be able to use the motorway crossing to access the Shinfield Eastern Relief Road, a 1.8 km route that is also currently under construction.

In total, the project is valued at £25 million, and putting the steel beams into place represents a significant step forwards towards the completion of the bridge.

Each steel beam used in constructing the bridge deck measures 45 metres in length, with a total of six pairs of beams required to support the roadway.

The work was originally scheduled to take place at the end of November, with the steel beams installed overnight to minimise disruption due to the essential closure of the M4.

However, it was later pushed back by a week, meaning it ultimately took place during the week beginning November 30th, with five nights used to complete the installation, and motorway traffic subject to a diversion during the planned closures.

The Shinfield work is part of the South of M4 SDL development scheme, which aims to create 2,500 new homes, including new affordable properties, with the associated transport infrastructure and community facilities needed by residents.

Projects are also taking place in and around Three Mile Cross and Spencers Wood as part of the Strategic Development Location occupying the area south of the M4.

This in turn is one of four SDLs designated within Wokingham Borough for development over the coming decade, in order to deliver the required number of extra homes needed in the area by 2026.