Delayed bridge work is due to start in weeks

Adam Bridge carries the Wigan to Kirby line over the River Douglas
Adam Bridge carries the Wigan to Kirby line over the River Douglas

Motorists could face delays as major repair work on a Wigan bridge is expected to start in the coming weeks.

Structural work had been planned to start in July for the 71-year-old Adam Bridge, on Southgate at the Saddle junction.

But that was pushed back and will instead start later this month or early in October, though the actual date has not yet been confirmed.

A sign erected on Southgate to warn drivers of the upcoming roadworks has been amended with the new dates.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure at Wigan Council, said: “The works to Adam Bridge are essential ones which we need to do to protect the bridge and make sure our residents enjoy comfortable journeys.

“These works have slightly been delayed while the design for the structural works is being finalised.

“We will closely monitor the work and the traffic to ensure any disruption is kept to a minimum and we do not anticipate any excessive traffic disruption.”

Adam Bridge carries the Wigan to Kirkby line over the River Douglas and is part of the busy Saddle junction.

It replaced an older wooden alternative at the end of the Second World War and earned listed status from English Heritage in March 2001.

Structural work will be carried out at the top of the bridge to replace the waterproofing membrane.

The work will be done in two phases and there will be lane closures on Southgate and the Saddle junction while it is being carried out.

There will be two lanes open at all times and one lane closed, in a bid to minimise any disruption to motorists.

The lanes will be closed in phases as work to each section of the bridge is completed.

It is expected to take around 12 weeks to carry out the repairs.

Despite some lanes remaining open to traffic, the work could still cause problems for motorists using the busy junction near Robin Park.

The new viaduct work could put extra pressure on the B5238 Poolstock Lane, already considered to be the busiest B road in the borough.

An estimated 26,000 vehicles per day use the route as a way of avoiding repeated hold-ups and congestion around the Saddle.

The last time the bridge, originally constructed by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company, was overhauled in early 2008 it was a major undertaking.

Strengthening works saw the line closed to rail traffic for a weekend.

A Network Rail spokesman confirmed the upcoming bridge works were not expected to lead to any alterations to rail services between Wigan and Kirkby.