Substantial progress has been made on a crucial element of Bolton’s new, state-of-the-art transport interchange.
The first steel span making up the ‘skylink’ bridge, which will connect the interchange with Bolton railway station, has been lifted into place by a 750 tonne crane. The work was completed outside of rail timetable hours to minimise disruption to passengers.
The span is 3.6 metres high, 3.8 metres wide, 20.1 metres long, weighs 30.5 tonnes and oversees the interchange’s bus apron.
The span was transported to the interchange site last month on the back of a trailer and, since then, has remained at the Newport Street compound for preparation and cladding.
Following this successful installation, the remaining three sections of the 100m bridge will be lifted in to place during overnight works in the coming weeks.
The construction of the bridge is being carried out by Murphy Group, under the project management of Network Rail, on behalf of Transport for Greater Management (TfGM).
TfGM Committee Chair, Councillor Andrew Fender, said: “The skylink bridge is a vital part of the interchange project and will provide much greater integration between bus and rail services, which is a key motivation behind the entire scheme.
“So the installation of the first section really provides an obvious landmark and demonstration of progress.
“When complete later this year, the new interchange will transform a key gateway into the town centre and provide much-improved facilities for passengers.”
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “The new interchange is now really coming together and this first piece of the connecting bridge shows how the huge project fits into place in our redevelopment of the town centre.
“The skylink bridge will provide a seamless link connecting the railway station with the interchange. The whole project moves Bolton’s transport links into the 21st century and provides a fitting gateway into the town centre.”
As part of the bridge installation, the taxi rank on Newport Street outside Bolton rail station has beentemporarily relocated to bus stand D. As a result, bus services 22, 36, 500, 501, 519, 520, 527, 551, 570, 571, 572 will temporarily pick up from the bus stop further up Newport Street, opposite Section Street, which will be signposted to customers.
The new Bolton Interchange will provide better passenger information and ticketing facilities and a safer, more secure waiting environment.
It will also offer improved links between the town’s bus services and rail station, as well as providing a far more attractive ‘gateway’ to and from the town centre.
The transport interchange is being delivered by TfGM in partnership with Bolton Council, and forms part of the regeneration of Newport Street.
The scheme is being funded by the Greater Manchester Transport Fund and will support wider regeneration plans in the area.
Ahead of the expected opening in summer 2017, TfGM will be keeping passengers updated on the progress of the interchange works through posters on the site hoardings, the TfGM website – www.tfgm.com/boltoninterchange – and on the @OfficialTfGM Twitter feed and TfGM Facebook page.