Months of misery for residents and commuters ends as Ringley Bridge re-opens ahead of schedule (From Bury Times)
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Months of misery for residents and commuters ends as Ringley Bridge re-opens ahead of schedule
RINGLEY Bridge has re-opened — ending months of misery for commuters, local schools, neighbours and businesses.
The first car passed over the restructured and resurfaced bridge at 12.10pm today — 19 weeks after it was closed.
Work to the side of the bridge, such as repainting, will continue until just before Christmas but this will not have any impact on traffic.
Construction staff said they had ensured parts of the work that would need the bridge to be closed were prioritised.
Councillors hailed the project — which started on July 15 — as a resounding success from a “local” firm and thanked residents for their patience.
As the barriers were removed for the first time in four-and-a-half months, neighbours waved and gave enginers and construction staff from AE Yates Ltd the thumbs-up.
Not everyone was so pleased about the delays, however. Some of the people in one of the first cars over the bridge also waved, but did not use all their fingers.
Cllr David Chadwick, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “This is a fantastic example of the local authority working with a Bolton firm to complete a crucial project ahead of the 23-week schedule.”
During the closure, Ringley Bridge — which has been in place since 1936 — was raised up by 20mm so engineers could replace badly corroded but essential bearings.
Then, they replaced the road surface which they had stripped away to make the bridge light enough to lift.
Mark Rowles, a lead engineer at Bolton Council, said: “We were overcome by early problems but after the first six weeks or so things went more smoothly.
“The bridge had to be repaired as a collapse would have meant it was closed for years rather than months.
“This process has highlighted what an important road link this is to people.
“We were always in a no-win situation really but we’re delighted at how the project has gone.”
Cllr Liam Irving, for Kearsley, added: “They have worked very hard but I would also like to thank local people as we have not had that many complaints overall.
“In particular the Giants garden centre, and the businesses around them, have been fantastic.”
Cllr Derek Burrows, another ward councillor for Kearsley, said: “The contractors have been terrific and we would like to thank local people for their co-operation and patience.”
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