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Published on : Friday, July 29, 2016
Rail engineers are about to undertake the painstaking restoration of Stephenson’s historic bridge in Salford as work on the Ordsall Chord takes another step forward.The Grade I-listed bridge, built in 1830, is a vital part of Manchester’s history but has been neglected and obscured for decades by other structures which have been built nearby.
Now, thanks to Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, which is providing passengers with a better, more reliable railway, the bridge will be restored to its former glory as part of the Ordsall Chord project which will connect Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria stations for the first time.
Network Rail has removed the old Princes Bridge – the footbridge which obscured the view of and access to Stephenson’s bridge – and can now gain access to carry out the restoration work. Work will also continue to remove a large steel girder to provide a full view of the bridge.
Terry Strickland, area director for Network Rail, said: “Work is progressing as part of the Ordsall Chord development and we are really seeing things change on site. Following the removal of Princes Bridge, the girder extension will be taken down and the rejuvenation of Stephenson’s Bridge will continue at a pace.
“A new footbridge will cross the River Irwell and will allow members of the public to view Stephenson’s Bridge close at hand for the first time in over 150 years. From there, you will be able to fully appreciate the detail of George Stephenson’s work and have a taste of how the bridge looked when it was first built.”
The Ordsall Chord will connect Manchester Victoria and Piccadilly train stations for the first time as well as help reduce congestion at Piccadilly. The chord will also provide direct links to Manchester Airport from across the north.
The work will be completed by December 2017 and is part of Network Rail’s £1bn+ investment in the railway in the north of England. This will help deliver a more reliable, faster and efficient railway to the ever increasing numbers of passengers who use the train every year.