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New Metrolink bridge moved into place over M60

The new Metrolink bridge to transport passengers to Manchester Airport was installed over the M60 this weekend.

The 580-tonne bridge was specially constructed to facilitate its installation during a single motorway closure, and comprises one of the two bridges on the new tram line currently in progress.

The installation of the bridge was due to take place during a 24-hour closure (10pm-10pm) of part of the M60, but it was completed effectively eight hours early, allowing drivers to return to the road by 2pm on Sunday November 4.

Chair of the TfGM committee, Cllr Andrew Fender, stated: “I’d like to congratulate all those involved in this impressive construction feat, particularly the contractor MPT, for getting the work done so quickly and smoothly.

“An enormous amount of planning clearly went into ensuring this superstructure could be installed with the least amount of inconvenience to road users – both in the design of the bridge and the execution of the road closures.

“That planning has paid off and a major step forward taken in bringing tram services to Wythenshawe and the Airport.”

MPT is implementing the construction work on new lines for the Metrolink, extending the service to Manchester Airport, East Didsbury, Oldham and Rochdale town centres and Ashton-under-Lyne.

The second superstructure will be installed between 10pm on Saturday 24 to 10pm on Sunday 25 November, when the M56 will be closed between junctions 2 and 5. The closure begins at 9pm, starting with lane closures and culminating in the full closure of the motorway in each direction from 10pm.

The closures have been carefully planned by Metrolink and TfGM in conjunction with the Highways Agency in order to avoid major events, such as Premier League football matches.

The bridge over the M60 has been installed south of the current Fairy Lane overbridge between junctions 5 and 6, and the planned bridge over the M56 will be next to the current Hollyhedge Road overbridge between junctions 3 and 4.

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