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Homepage / News / New Fallowfield Loop bridge over Hyde Road is lifted into place
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News

New Fallowfield Loop bridge over Hyde Road is lifted into place

A brand new footbridge which will re-connect part of the Fallowfield Loop has been lifted into place in a mammoth operation this afternoon.

The installation of the bridge is the latest stage of the £5.9 million project to widen an infamous bottleneck on Hyde Road in Gorton.

It replaces a 19th century railway bridge which was removed in another big engineering feat earlier this year.

A section of the A57, a trunk road from the city centre to east Manchester and Tameside, has been closed for the day whilst the operation is carried out.

The bridge is one part of the project to widen Hyde Road

The bridge, 25 metres long, four metres high and four metres wide was delivered from the factory in one piece on the back of a lorry today.

A huge crane has been brought in and was used to lift and then lower the green coloured bridge, for walkers and cyclists, into position this afternoon allowing locals to get their first glimpse of it.

Hyde Road is currently closed from Reddish Bridge near Debdale Park to Chapman Street and will remain so until midnight on Sunday whilst it is fixed into place. Diversions are currently in place.

The bridge will open to the public next month once finishing touches have been put to it, Manchester City Council say.

A huge crane has been brought in as part of the operation

The eight mile long Fallowfield Loop is an off-road cycle and pedestrian path which follows the route of the old Fallowfield Loop railway line from the city centre through south and east Manchester which closed in 1988.

It used to cross a steel former railway bridge which once formed part of the now extinct Hyde Road train station.

Hyde Road will remain closed for the remainder of Saturday and Sunday whilst it is fixed into position

Work is underway to widen a stretch of Hyde Road from Far Lane to to Wall Way near Debdale from two lanes to four to reduce congestion.

And the old bridge had to be replaced with a purpose built one as part of the £5.9 million project.

The old 65 tonne bridge, which dated back to the 1890s, was lifted out and broken down and disposed of in another big operation just before the lockdown came into force in March.

It had previously been postponed due to high winds during an earlier attempt.

The new bridge has previously been subject of a row over access.

Plans to include a staircase from street level up to the bridge were ditched after concerns were raised over disabled access.

The bridge will open to the public in July

Bosses said too much privately owned land would have to be acquired to install an accessible ramp so the plans for stairs were shelved as it was deemed unfair on those who couldn’t use them.

They said there were numerous existing access points to the Fallowfield Loop which would suffice.

The former railway bridge which was removed earlier this year

Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Coun Angeliki Stogia said in a statement last week: “The bridge replacement scheme for Hyde Road 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.

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“The new and improved bridge will also enhance the Fallowfield Loop cycling and walking route and we are very grateful to people travelling by bike or on foot in this area for bearing with the inconvenience while waiting for the new bridge to be installed.

“We look forward to reopening this route to them next month, after adding the finishing touches.

“We really appreciate the patience of local residents while the bridge lift is completed and will continue to make every effort to minimise disruption while the work is completed.

“Because the bridge lift will be an exciting moment, we will be capturing and posting time-lapse footage online, so that people who are interested in seeing the operation for themselves can safely enjoy watching it from their homes.”

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