Rochdale's new Metrolink line will have a stop at Kingsway Business Park, under a package of new measures agreed by transport leaders.
Members of Transport for Greater Manchester's Capital Projects and Policy sub-committee agreed on Friday to a funding package with Rochdale Council to provide the £2.5m Kingsway stop and changes to the town centre line that will avoid a five-month delay and substantial additional costs.
The committee agreed to amend the town centre line to run on a single line section through the junction of Drake Street and Smith Street before returning to two tracks on the approach to the town centre stop.
A review of the designs found that a twin-track approach from the train station to the Smith Street stop would require significant structural improvements, or replacement of, Wellington Bridge over the River Roche.
Strengthening Wellington Bridge would involve works to the substructures and additional work to the central pier supports. This work would allow the local surface levels to be raised such that the required track slab thickness could be accommodated. The work would add risk to the overall delivery programme as a result of the likelihood of additional structural issues being identified during the major intrusive works, and this option would cost an additional £1.1m if no further issues arise.
Demolishing the existing reinforced concrete deck slabs and intermediate support piers at Wellington Bridge and replacing them with a single span precast concrete beam and slab deck would achieve the desired depths for the track slab without the need to affect the highway and footway levels above. However, this would add risk to the overall delivery programme.
Members also agreed that officers at Rochdale Council should be made aware of the additional costs and potential delays associated with providing a stop at Drake Street in future.