A 100-tonne section of a vertical lifting bridge being built across the Manchester Ship Canal collapsed on Monday morning, and emergency services were called to the scene, although no one was hurt.
Hochtief and Buckingham Group Contracting started work on a site to the east of Barton Bridge earlier this year, as part of their contract to build a link road from the Trafford Centre to Salford. Included in the £30m Western Gateway Infrastructure Scheme is a mile-long dual carriageway link to Trafford Way, and a new lift bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal next to the existing bridge near junction 11 of the M60.
At around 9.30am on Monday morning, part of the steel deck section of the lifting bridge fell 60ft, after the cables supporting the structure snapped.
Police and ambulance vehicles attended the site but had departed by midday.
The WGIS scheme is needed as part of Peel Group’s Port Salford development to reduce traffic on local roads and relieve peak time congestion on the M60 Barton Bridge.
The project had a completion date of the end of 2016.
A statement from Hochtief said: “An incident occurred during a planned operation on a new lifting bridge over the Manchester Shipping Canal at 9.30am on 16 May 2016. No one was injured. An exclusion zone was in place around the bridge, as is standard during this type of work.
“The Health & Safety Executive and emergency services have attended the site. A full investigation will now take place and while this investigation is underway we cannot comment further.”
Peel Ports confirmed that river traffic had been halted along the Ship Canal until the obstruction was removed: “We can confirm that an incident involving construction works for the lifting bridge near the M60 over the Manchester Ship Canal has obstructed marine traffic on the canal east and west to and from Manchester. We understand that no-one was injured during the incident.
“For the time being there will be no marine traffic movements on the canal in the immediate vicinity of the incident until further notice. We have a marine response team on the ground and are working with the emergency services and all parties involved in the project to assess and minimise the impact on users of the canal. We will be updating our customers and users of the canal throughout the day and going forward. We hope to resume normal access for marine traffic along the relevant area of the canal as soon as practically possible.”
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