Civils and stations

23.08.07

New Metrolink bridge swings into place

Engineers lifted a new 50 tonne road bridge into place over the Bury Metrolink line on Wednesday as part of a £100 million project to improve the network.

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) replaced the bridge, on Withins Lane in Radcliffe, during this summer's work to upgrade nearly 20 miles of track on the Bury and Altrincham lines. The Metrolink bridge which goes over the M60 at Besses o' th' Barn has also been renovated, and the platform surfaces have been upgraded to make it easier to get on and off the trams.

Paul Griffiths, GMPTE's Projects Director, said: "I'm pleased we've been able to replace the Withins Lane bridge while the Bury and Altrincham lines have been closed. The work to upgrade the Metrolink network is running to schedule and the Bury line is due to reopen in mid September.

"This is just the start of a multi-million pound investment in Metrolink. We have ordered eight new trams to tackle overcrowding, and we will be upgrading the ticket machines in the near future. Work is also due to start next year on new lines to Oldham and Rochdale, Droylsden in Tameside, and Chorlton in South Manchester."

The new Withins Lane bridge, which leads to a local farm, was built on the site before being positioned over the Metrolink line using an 800 tonne crane. The old bridge was made with wooden decking and a tarmac surface and needed to be upgraded.

The Bury Metrolink line is currently closed between Bury and Manchester Victoria, and the Altrincham line is closed between Altrincham and Cornbrook. The Bury line is due to reopen on Thursday 13 September and the Altrincham line is due to reopen on Tuesday 28 August.

Trams have continued to run on the Eccles line and in the city centre throughout the summer, and replacement bus services are running to and from the city centre. Weekly, four-weekly and quarterly tickets on the Bury and Altrincham lines have been reduced by up to 20%, and return tickets have been reduced by up to 10%.

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