Bolton’s new, state-of-the-art transport interchange took another step towards completion late last week with the installation of the final two steel spans of the ‘skylink’ bridge.
A 750-tonne crane lifted the spans into place overnight, outside rail timetable hours to minimise disruption to passengers.
Spans three and four, which are 3.6m high, 3.8m wide, and 31.3m and 16.5m long respectively, connect the interchange with Bolton railway station.
Now that the span lifts have been completed, the overall structure of the 100m skylink bridge is in place, ready for final fit-out.
The construction of the bridge is being carried out by Murphy, under the project management of Network Rail, on behalf of Transport for Greater Management (TfGM).
TfGM Committee Chair, Councillor Andrew Fender, said: “It’s great to see the final sections of the skylink bridge installed and passers-by can now admire the full structure of the bridge – it marks the completion of an important phase in the interchange project.
“The bridge is a critical part of the interchange project and will offer much better integration between bus and rail services, which is a central objective of the entire scheme.
“The new interchange, which is due to open in the summer, will transform a key gateway into the town centre and provide much-improved facilities for passengers.”
Bolton Council Leader, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: "It is fantastic to see this exciting development taking shape, as it will bring Bolton's transport provision firmly into the 21st century.
“The bridge connects our railway station to the new bus station and creates an interchange that links up our public transport in the town centre.
“Together with the new office block on Great Moor Street and the work being carried out in Newport Street, it will be a magnificent new gateway."
Murphy Project Manager, Richard Smith, said: “It has been a great team effort to reach this major milestone.
“The entire team has worked tirelessly to reach this point and deserve great credit for this achievement.”
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 Network Rail, and 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.