Bridleway bridge in Uppermill to be replaced after almost 18 months

Oldham Council is set to replace a well-used bridleway bridge in Uppermill this month.

Back in May 2020 the wooden bridge over Church Road – part of the Pennine Bridleway – had to be closed on safety grounds after defects were spotted in the structure.

The old Church Road bridge in Uppermill with a crack appeared in the structure

Work is due to begin on the morning of October 26 after morning refuse collections have finished.

So the work can be carried quickly and safely Church Road will be closed to pedestrians and all vehicles until October 29.

A temporary vehicular diversion route will be in operation along Gellfield Lane to Greenfield and back to Uppermill along Oldham Road / High Street in both directions.

A separate pedestrian diversion route will be in operation to direct those on foot around the working area; this will be along Pickhill Lane to the bridleway and to Bagnall Close / Sherbrooke Avenue / Wellmeadow Lane in both directions.

A temporary parking restriction will also be in operation on Church Road between its junctions with Pickhill Lane and Wellmeadow Lane from the evening of Monday, October 25.

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

Council officers have secured funding to pay towards the bridge cost – Natural England and the Pennine National Trails Partnership have granted £32,500.

The council will pay the remaining £37,500 out of its budget.

Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “I’m sure this new bridge will go down well with local residents and all those who use the bridleway.

“We appreciate removing the bridge caused issues, but we had no option and did it to protect the public.

“We’d have liked to have put it back in place earlier but due to the pandemic, the acquisition of materials has slowed-down off-site construction of the bridge.

“Until the work is complete, people can carry on using the temporary bridleway diversion we’ve put in place.”

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 bridge.

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