Second Wigan railway bridge to be rebuilt as part of electrification project
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Network Rail has submitted its intention to replace the bridge at Ince railway station as part of a £78m enhancement programme to electrify 13 miles of track between Lostock Junction and Wigan North Western.
It plans to replace the overbridge with a single-span bridge and replacement footbridge.
A letter submitted to Wigan Council said: “It is proposed to replace the overbridge with a new single-span bridge, comprising weathering steel girders with a stone effect textured concrete finish (‘Allgau’ pattern by Reckli) along the inside of the parapets (as well as approach parapets).
"It will have an increased minimum clearance of 4.5 metres (measured at the up line), requiring the road over the railway to be raised by approximately 0.3 metres compared to the existing condition
"The overbridge’s parapets will be 1.8 metres high in accordance with the safety requirements for electrification of the railway.
"Following extensive investigations by the engineering team, it was established that the existing steps that connect the footpath on the north-east approach to Canal Street below cannot be retained in use. This is because they cannot be made compliant with the levels to the new road. As a result, the steps will be decommissioned and capped to prevent public access.
“The structure will remain in situ to continue to serve as a buttress for the new overbridge. This will ensure that the structural integrity of the bridge is retained, while preventing trespass and removing any requirement for ongoing maintenance.
“The principle of the closure and decommissioning of the steps has been agreed with the council.”
An existing sandstone arch cannot be retained due to the work and would be replaced with a concrete arch.
This will be the second bridge in Wigan to be transformed as a result of this project.
It was set to reopen in July, but difficulties aligning the work with other companies means the road will remain closed for longer than anticipated.
The work is currently being re-organised and it is not yet known how much longer it will take.