Bridge works are delayed

PLANS to give a bridge in Lowton a major overhaul which will see a road closed for 13 weeks have been delayed.

British Waterways is carrying out the work on the Plank Lane lift bridge over the Leigh branch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, known locally as the swing bridge, in order to preserve its life.

Work was due to begin on Monday, January 23 but will now be postponed until Thursday, January 26, and a completion date of mid-April has been given.

The work will mean that Plank Lane will have to be closed, though only the bridge itself will be closed and the household waste recycling centre nearby will remain open throughout the period of the roadworks.

Motorists who use the popular shortcut to travel between Lowton and Leigh will be forced into a lengthy diversion along the East Lancs Road and Atherleigh Way.

The work will include fitting a new deck to the bridge, overhauling the mechanics and electrics and repainting the steel superstructure.

It is the second time the renovation work, which was originally intended to begin two weeks ago, has had to be postponed.

Wigan Council head of highways Mark Tilley said: “British Waterways have discussed their plans for traffic management with us and have made arrangements with the bus companies to cover virtually every property served.

“They will also be installing a pedestrian bridge during the scheme.

“All parties hope that drivers will understand that British Waterways must ensure their bridge is safe.”