Bridge up for top honours

The completed Carter's Bridge
The completed Carter's Bridge

A £1.25m bridge built in Wigan by a local firm is in the running for a prestigious civil engineering prize.

The new Carter’s Bridge, commissioned by Network Rail, replaced the original crossing in Garswood which had fallen into disrepair, the work being credited for causing minimal disruption to road and rail-users in the process.

The new steel composite structure was completed last July by Golborne-based J Murphy and Sons, and has been nominated for a North West Civil Engineering Award.

It is near Garswood Old Road and crosses the Springs Branch Line on farmland between Garswood Station and St Helens.

The winners will be announced at the Institution of Civil Engineers North West annual awards dinner at the Blackpool Hilton Hotel this Friday.

Darrell Matthews, North West regional director of the Institution of Civil Engineers, said today: “The new Carter’s Bridge is a great example of how civil engineers solve problems.

“In this case an old bridge had to be replaced while causing the least possible disruption to the people who needed access to it and the railway that passed under it.

“The engineers achieved this by ingenuity in design and construction, including the prefabrication of bridge components off-site so they could be installed using a large capacity crane during a single 29-hour closure of the railway line.

“Meanwhile the old bridge was left in place while the new one was constructed, after which the old bridge and the remains of an even older structure were demolished.

“The whole thing was delivered on time, on budget, with an excellent safety record and minimal impact on the environment.”

Mr Matthews added: “Our annual awards help showcase some of the fantastic civil engineering that’s happening across the North West.

“Carter’s Bridge is one of 13 nominations in our Medium Project Award category, so it’s facing strong competition from projects all over North West England including railway bridges, highway and cycleway schemes in Greater Manchester and Lancashire, a slope stability project on the River Irwell in Bury and a fish pass in Swindale, Cumbria, and flood defence projects in Blackburn, Northwich and Warrington – so it will be interesting to see who has caught the judges’ eye in terms of civil engineering excellence.”

The principal designer for the Carter’s Bridge project was Manchester-based Tony Gee and Partners, and the principal contractor was J Murphy and Sons Ltd.

This year’s North West Civil Engineering Awards were sponsored by GHD.