Peel Land & Property, Salford City Council and Trafford Council have issued a joint statement on progress relating to the opening of the new A57 road and lifting bridge at Barton.
The statement said: “The bridge is currently under the supervision of Peel’s contractor, Hochtief Buckingham, and will remain so until works, including all safety checks, are completed. All parties anticipate that this will be achieved this week.
“Approvals will then be required from the highways authority and Transport for Greater Manchester before the road and bridge can open to the public.”
The bridge forms part of the Western Gateway Infrastructure Scheme, which has led to a dispute between Peel and Trafford Council, along with Highways England, over the contributions to be made by developers to the project – Peel’s contention is that Himor, developer of the Future Carrington scheme, should be asked to contribute to the £32m WGIS, and it is seeking a judicial review into the consent granted Himor in April. The dispute had led to some alarm that the bridge’s opening would be delayed.
That prospect seems to be have been headed off. A spokesperson for Peel Land & Property said: “We have been working closely with our contractors, as well as colleagues in Salford and Trafford councils. Together, we are committed to making the road and bridge available for public use as soon as possible, for the benefit of motorists, the local economy and communities.”
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “I am really happy to share this news with the local councillors and community. We’ve been able to come together to agree to resolve our differences behind the scenes.
“The planned opening of the road and bridge, subject to works being completed, will mean the road layout can then work as originally designed, easing current congestion. We all understand it has been an incredibly frustrating time for local people and our priority has been to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
“I would like to thank Peel Land & Property and Trafford Council for working closely with us to agree a solution.”
Sean Anstee, leader of Trafford Council, said: “This will be a really welcome early Christmas present to local communities, who have had to patiently endure disruption during the construction works.
“I’m really pleased we have worked with Salford City Council and Peel to make this happen and the benefits will now follow to ease congestion for our communities in Davyhulme, Irlam and Cadishead alongside visitors to Intu Trafford Centre.”
Discussions will continue between all parties regarding maintenance and ongoing liabilities but the road and bridge will open upon completion of works and approvals being granted, the statement concluded.