Broken footbridge temporarily reopens after complaints about 2-mile diversion - Manchester Evening News

2022-05-29 00:37:11 By : Ms. Steffi Zhang

The nearest diversion is 42 minutes on foot

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A footbridge which was closed for repairs forcing people on a two-mile diversion is set to reopen temporarily after complaints from regular users.

The Jackson's Boat bridge between Sale and Chorlton closed last month due to safety concerns – but residents were told repairs could take nine months. This forced people who use the bridge by foot to take a 42-minute diversion.

However, people ignored the warning signs and continued using the bridge anyway, despite the danger caused by a loose truss identified on April 29. Users of the old bridge urged Manchester council to replace the 'important link' with a temporary scaffold bridge or improve the paths along the river.

READ MORE: Nine-month footbridge closure forces walkers on 42-MINUTE diversion down River Mersey

But now, the council has confirmed that the bridge will reopen this weekend and it will remain open for two weeks with a temporary solution put in place. Plyboard sheeting is to be be installed on the bridge on Friday (May 27) and -weather permitting - the bridge will temporarily reopen on Saturday (May 28).

In a update shared by the Chorlton Park councillors, a spokesperson for Manchester council said: "[The] Highways Service are pleased to announce that they have found a temporary solution that will enable the bridge to be temporarily reopened from Saturday ahead of next week's holiday period. If we can improve on this and open it later [on Friday] we will do so.

"The initial repairs are taking place [on Friday] and are dependent on weather in terms of material curing. On Friday, May 27 [Manchester council's] contractor are installing plyboard sheeting to the entire area on top of the existing bridge decking with anti-slip treatment, that will see the bridge reopened for the next two weeks until the next phase of repairs take place.

"The team are meeting again on Tuesday to agree the earliest programme dates to determine if the bridge needs to be closed to replace the existing decking. We will consider if the bridge can be re-opened at intervals during this work and this will be updated next week."

Details of any further closures are yet to be confirmed by Manchester council. Claire Stocks, who lives in Chorlton and uses the bridge regularly, said closing the bridge completely is 'unacceptable' and would create a lot of opposition.

She urged the town hall to take the issue seriously and find a solution fast. Responding to the latest news, she said: "As a local resident I’m very glad a pragmatic solution has been found to keep this popular local route open.

"I hope that the two councils, Trafford and Manchester, can now agree a maintenance programme that keeps it that way - and look forward to seeing them work together on long term solution to provide safe walking and cycling routes between Sale and Manchester."

Trafford council had plans to build a new wider and accessible bridge and improve the paths dating back to 2017, but the scheme did not progress due to budget uncertainty. The local authority says it is still keen to bring it forward.