Work finally starts to install footbridge to reunite Wigan residents split by motorway

Two Wigan communities separated more than two years ago will soon be reunited thanks to a new footbridge over a busy motorway junction.
Construction work is under wayConstruction work is under way
Construction work is under way

Highways England has started construction work on a 30-metre-long bridge over the A577 slip road at Orrell Interchange, where the M6 connects to the M58.

A previous bridge at the same location, which links Pemberton to the east of the M6 with Orrell to the west, had to be removed after it was struck by a lorry in November 2017.

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People living in the area have long wondered if the bridge would be replaced, with Orrell councillor Michael Winstanley leading calls for the work to be done.

Work takes place to install the foundationsWork takes place to install the foundations
Work takes place to install the foundations

Contractors have now completed drainage work on the site and are starting to build the foundations for the new footbridge.

It will have a higher barrier on both sides, making it suitable for cyclists, and a ramp will provide step-free access over the slip road for people with prams and wheelchairs.

Vikas Baloch, assistant project manager at Highways England, said: “Work on the new footbridge is progressing well and we’re looking forward to opening it to the public later in the year.

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“The new bridge will mean people in Orrell won’t have to go the long way round to get to Redwood Park and Pemberton’s residents won’t need to walk along a busy road to get to the shops in Orrell.”

The bridge was demolished when it was hit by a lorryThe bridge was demolished when it was hit by a lorry
The bridge was demolished when it was hit by a lorry

Temporary narrow lanes and a 30mph speed limit is in place on the A577 slip road for the safety of drivers and road workers during the


Some overnight closures of the slip road will also be needed between 9pm and 5am, with diversions taking drivers along the M58 and A577 to reach their destinations.

Highways England says contractors are following strict safeguarding measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 among the workforce.

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A crane will lift the new footbridge into place in August and it is due to open to the public in the autumn.

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