Ordsall Chord footbridge installed

Contractors have lifted the new footbridge into place over the River Irwell as part of the ongoing Ordsall Chord project to increase rail capacity through Manchester and Salford.

  • See gallery below. Images by Skanska UK

The work is being carried out on behalf of Network Rail by Skanska and Bam Nuttall, assisted by AmeySersa and Siemens.

The footbridge installed this week replaced the old Princes Bridge which was removed earlier in the year. The major civil engineering works straddles Trinity Way next to English Cities Fund’s New Bailey and Scarborough’s Middlewood Locks developments.

People using the new footbridge after work is completed at the end of 2017 will be able to see the grade one-listed Stephenson bridge, dating back to 1830, up close for the first time in 150 years. Work on the restoration of the Stephenson bridge is one of the next stages.

The Ordsall Chord will connect Manchester Victoria and Piccadilly train stations for the first time and help reduce congestion at Piccadilly. The chord will also open direct links to Manchester Airport from across the North.

Patrick Cumming, Skanska project manager, said: “The Ordsall Chord footbridge installation is a major milestone achievement for the construction team. The bridge was fabricated at the workshops and then dismantled and sent to site in sections to be re-erected on some very comprehensive temporary works. The temporary works involved construction of a concrete pad to take steel trestles all fabricated to the exact orientation and final levels of the structure so that it replicated the final position of the bridge when it was placed. The whole installation was successfully achieved due to the positive collaboration of all parties involved – Skanska, BAM Nuttall, AmeySersa, Siemens and Network Rail.

“It’s fantastic that we have a structure set against the historic Stephenson’s Bridge, building history for future generations to enjoy the old and the new.”

The footbridge design was developed by the project team including BDP, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, Aecom and Mott MacDonald.

Peter Jenkins, director at BDP, said: “George Stephenson’s Bridge is now visible for the first time in over 150 years. This historic bridge and its adjoining structures will be celebrated for their character and importance rather than neglected and disused as they were prior to construction.”

The first arch of the new rail network arch bridge is also under construction and currently on site.

The work is part of Network rail’s £1bn Northern Hub investment in the railway in the North of England.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

The new chord will not reduce congestion at Piccadilly – it will more likely increase congestion until the additional tracks are put in place between Oxford Road & Piccadilly when new platforms 15 & 16 are built – and how long will that be before coming to fruition.
Oh! I forgot – Southport trains will be diverted to Victoria thus depriving trains on that line a direct link to the Airport – is that the reason given for less congestion? I think not!

By John Webster

Population of Southport which loses its direct connection to the airport 90,336. Population of Bradford which gains a connection to the airport 1.5 million. You do the maths John.

By Tony

Since when was the population of Bradford over a million? That is a bigger population than Birmingham’s. Leeds is less than a million and the whole of Yorkshire only about 5 million.

By Elephant

FYI, 2011 Census puts Bradford’s population at 349,561… almost Tony!

By I love numbers me

Bradford already has an airport almost on it’s doorstep – Southport’s nearest is John Lennon at Speke but you need to get a train and a bus to get there and the bus now goes all round the houses whereas it used to run direct.

By John Webster

Although getting from Bradford to LBA isn’t the easiest thing to do on public transport.

By Anon

That yellow rail looks awful.

By Matt

Matt, that is the yellow padding around the new balustrade and handrailing. It’s for temporary protection and will be removed. You’ll see a nice quality finished metal and maybe treated to a hardwood handrail if we are all lucky girls and boys.

By Mizzer

Please could someone tell me how much longer i have to wait to be able to use the pedestrian foot bridge at the bottom of Middlewood at Salford M5 . I have to take an annoying detour every time I walk in to Manchester and after 3 years it’s starting to grate . The railway bridge was finished in December but I still can’t use the foot bridge . What the hell are they doing it’s ruining my life please please please hurry up .

By Gavin Ashworth

Ha, I don’t know about ruining lives but it is taking a bit too long now.

They are putting a lot of effort into an area that is still to be out of sight for a while. I hope it doesn’t just get trashed whilst we’re waiting for the factory/st johns to be built.

By Dave.

Does anyone know when this will be finished?

It’s been ages.

By Liam