Engineers building the Metrolink line to Rochdale have installed a 52 metre long viaduct in the town, which will carry trams over the Manchester-Leeds railway when the new Metrolink opens next year.
This major construction project, which involved 400 tonnes of steel, over 5000 bolts and a 1000 tonne ‘super lift’, was completed within a three day period over the New Year weekend.
Councillor Ian Macdonald, Chair of Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA), said: “The viaduct is one of the largest new structures on the Metrolink extensions, and is a vital part of ongoing work to bring a new Metrolink line from Manchester into the heart of Rochdale.
“This line is one of five major Metrolink expansions, which is aimed at improving accessibility by providing residents and visitors with even better public transport links across the region.”
Led by MPact-Thales (MPT), the consortium appointed to design, build and maintain the new Metrolink lines, work to lift the bridge into place began on 1 January and finished on 3 January.
MPT Senior Engineer, Rob Salmon said: “We have been planning the lifting operation for the past 18 months, so to see the bridge lifted successfully into place made for a satisfying new year. It was only made possible by the hard work of the whole team in the run up to and during the possession and I would like to thank all involved. ”
Positioned just east of Rochdale station on the Calder Valley line, the bridge is part of a new Metrolink track that will run from Manchester city centre to Oldham and Rochdale, opening to Rochdale railway station next year and Rochdale town centre in 2014.
There will be further work throughout January and February to complete the viaduct installation.