On Saturday 27th June, Eric Wright Civil Engineering (EWCE) lifted into place a new foot and cycle bridge spanning the A57 Hyde Road in Gorton, Manchester, one of the main routes into the city centre.
The installation of the 26 tonne, pre-fabricated steel footbridge was witnessed by representatives from Manchester City Council and the wider project team.
The works form part of a £5.9m investment by Manchester City Council to reduce traffic congestion on the busy A57 Hyde Road where the bridge and its abutments form a pinch point, reducing four lanes of traffic to two. Work is due to complete before the end of the year.
Back in March, the Eric Wright team lifted out the old 36 tonne railway bridge which formed part of Fallowfield Loop walking and cycleway which spans the A57.
Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “The Fallowfield Loop path is an extremely important active travel route for people on foot and on bikes. The new bridge will ensure that this green route remains in place for generations to come. In addition, the bridge replacement scheme will reduce the congestion which has blighted this area for too long, impacting not just on commuters whose journeys are delayed, but also on Gorton residents in terms of diminished air quality.”
As part of its social value commitment to the local area, Eric Wright Civil Engineering was to have offered local apprenticeships on the scheme, however, Covid-19 restrictions meant this was not possible. Instead, a donation of £10,000 was made by Eric Wright to local charity Read Manchester, an initiative that aims to connect Year 6 pupils with secondary school pupils through a shared reading programme.
Diane Bourne, Eric Wright Civil Engineering managing director added: “It is a real achievement that the team has been able to reach this significant milestone on time, working under strict COVID secure site conditions since March. We have had to really step back and find new ways of working which has been both challenging and exciting at times, especially with the dreadful weather during the lift. It’s great to see the bridge open and we look forward to the completion of the remainder of the works in the coming months.
“We are also really pleased to be able to support Read Manchester which is providing an invaluable resource, helping children who are finishing primary school to develop relationships with older students at secondary school, an important part of the relationship-building process which has been badly hit by Covid-19.”
This is the second bridge Eric Wright Civil Engineering has delivered in the region this year, following the successful installation of the new stainless steel bridge at Pooley Bridge in Cumbria.