Modern solution to ageing problem

A Victorian railway bridge is to be given 21st century support to avoid months of disruption to motorists.

Railway Bridge No. 7 carries the A580 East Lancashire Road over the disused Eccles, Tyldesley and Wigan railway line, now known as the Tyldesley loopline, at the junction of the A575 Walkden Road. The line is also part of National Cycle Route 55 and the path beneath the bridge has been upgraded.

Victorian railway bridge

The reinforced concrete structure is ageing and, if left untouched, will reduce the load carrying capacity of the road bridge with a huge impact on traffic using the junction. Concrete could also fall from the bridge posing a risk to walkers and cyclists using the loopline below.

“We’ve looked at potential solutions and the best option is to put a new corrugated steel arch structure underneath the bridge and fill in the gap between the top of the arch and the underneath of the bridge,” said Councillor Mike McCusker, lead member for planning and sustainable neighbourhoods.

“That will safeguard the bridge for the next 120 years and is a low maintenance option which means less disruption in the long run once the work is complete.

“The alternative would be to repair and waterproof the bridge which would mean months of disruption to motorists with contraflows on the A580 and either partial or complete closure of the A575 to allow contractors to work safely.”

A contract to repair the bridge has been agreed with a Greater Manchester firm, an accredited Living Wage employer, which will create social value benefits for Salford worth more than £157,000 including jobs for local people, use of local suppliers, particularly small and micro businesses, and £2000 worth of in-kind donations to local community-based improvement projects.

Walkers and cyclists will be diverted over the bridge, rejoining the route on the other side of the A580. The work is due to start in July and will take six months to complete.

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Date published
Wednesday 24 May 2023

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