Borough’s road network to get £4.2m cash boost

Roads and two important bridges will receive a huge cash injection
Roads and two important bridges will receive a huge cash injection

MAJOR investment of £4.2m is to be made in Wigan’s roads and bridges after two bids for government funding were successful.

Wigan Council secured the significant grants as part of the Department for Transport’s Challenge Fund, supports one-off major infrastructure schemes to improve life for local residents and businesses.

We have a long-term plan to make sure we remain a high performing council for maintaining our infrastructure so our roads can support the needs of our communities and the economic growth of our area

Coun Kevin Anderson

The authority was successful in two bids out of only 31 nationally and work will be completed by March 2017.

The success means £1.2m will be spent on upgrades to Golborne Railway Bridge at Golborne and Morleys Canal Bridge, near Tyldesley.

Work on the bridges, which both carry the A580 East Lancs Road, will avoid weight and lane restrictions being imposed on the bridges.

Structural maintenance work will include deck waterproofing, renewal of joints and renewing of steelwork corrosion protection.

For the bridges work the Department for Transport (DfT) is funding £988,000 and Wigan Council will pay £263,000.

The second grant from the Challenge Fund will see more than £3m invested in the busiest roads in the borough to keep their quality high and prevent surfaces deteriorating.

This will see a new surface course on 34 sections of roadway right across the borough to prevent water damage and further deterioration and make for smoother more comfortable journeys.

For the roads work £2.37m will come from the DfT and £631,000 will come from Wigan Council.

Coun Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Through securing these two bids Wigan Council has demonstrated its excellence in improving the local road network for its residents.

“We have a long-term plan to make sure we remain a high performing council for maintaining our infrastructure so our roads can support the needs of our communities and the economic growth of our area.

“As part of The Deal we have pledged to support our local economy to grow and investing in major infrastructure projects is a key part of that.”

This is now the third set of funding from the DfT.

Wigan Council was recently awarded £4.75m from the DfT’s Growth Deal which is devolved from the government to Transport for Greater Manchester.

This will be used to address local priorities, including the Rodney Street/Riverway junction between the Wigan Life Centre and the new Premier Inn; the New Market Street/Market Street junction outside Wigan and Leigh College and environmental improvements in the Poolstock area to complement the opening of the new A49 link road.

This grant is on top of the annual funding the council receives to maintain its highway infrastructure, which has been set as more than £20m over a six year period.

As a result the council has devised its own Highway Asset Management Strategy – which sets out how it is going to maintain its infrastructure up to March 2021, and is largely dedicated to improving roads.