Bridleway boost as new bridge confirmed for Uppermill

A SECTION of the Pennine Bridleway in Uppermill is set to be re-opened this Spring after the installation of a new £70,000 bridge.

Costs of the structure over Church Road will be met by Natural England, the Pennine National Trails Partnership and Oldham Council.

The metal and timber bridge is a replacement for the former 30-year-old wooden structure removed on safety grounds in June 2020,

The old Church Road bridge in Uppermill was removed when a crack appeared in the structure

The bridge will have steel beams which will be faced in timber and all other elements of the bridge will be timber. It will look similar to its ‘sister’ bridge at Station Road, Uppermill.

Once the bridge has been manufactured, it is hoped it will be put in place in Spring 2021 and the route will then be re-opened to all users.

Preparatory work at the site has already started, including the clearing of vegetation, improvements to the pathway and removal of the remnants of the old timber footbridge.

The local authority will contribute £37,500 towards the final bill.

Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Culture said: “There’s not a lot of good news about at the minute but we’re sure this replacement will go down well with local residents and all those who use the bridleway.

“Due to the current situation funds are tight but our officers have worked really hard to find money to replace the bridge as we know it’s a popular route for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders.

“We’d also like to thank Natural England and the Pennine National Trails Partnership for their contribution.

“We appreciate removing the bridge caused issues, but we had to do it for safety reasons and to protect the public.

“Until the work is complete, people can carry on using the temporary bridleway diversion that is in place.”

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