Wigan bridge gets safety approval after Genoa disaster

The aftermath of the Genoa disaster
The aftermath of the Genoa disaster

A Wigan bridge which underwent an inspection brought forward following a shocking tragedy in Europe has been given a clean bill of health.


The Adam Viaduct, which carries a railway line over Southgate, was hurriedly given an extra check in August after a bridge in the Italian city of Genoa collapsed, killing dozens.

Wigan's Adam Viaduct

Wigan's Adam Viaduct

Maintenance teams were sent to the site shortly after the horrendous events on the continent as the viaduct is made of pre-stressed concrete, the same process used in construction of the span which gave way.

Thankfully, though, the inspection proved there is nothing wrong with the bridge and the authorities say residents can be fully reassured.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure and regulatory services, said: “The visual safety inspection did not find anything that caused us any safety concerns for the pedestrians and vehicles passing under this bridge.”

A spokesperson for Network Rail, which owns the viaduct, said: “As with every structure we are responsible for, Adam Bridge is inspected and maintained on a regular basis and is in good condition.”

Pre-stressed concrete involves the material being put under compression using very strong metal tendons, either individual wires or strands, inside it.

The Adam Viaduct was built using the system in 1946 to carry the train route between Wigan and Kirkby. It was the first time pre-stressed concrete had been used on a railway bridge in Britain. It was also listed by English Heritage in 1999.

It replaced the original Lancashire and Yorkshire bridge which was constructed in 1848.

Wigan Council said the Adam Viaduct is normally given a thorough maintenance check once every two years.