Road closure chaos looms

The bridge above the railway line on Bolton Road, Atherton, where the road will be closed for three months for bridge repairs
The bridge above the railway line on Bolton Road, Atherton, where the road will be closed for three months for bridge repairs
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A MAJOR road through Atherton will be closed for essential rail works causing months of chaos for motorists.

Bolton Road, one of the borough’s busiest main roads, will be closed for nearly three months later this year as part of National Rail work to repair a bridge along a section of the Wigan to Manchester railway line.

The works are due to start in June and will run for eight months.

From September sections of the road will be completely closed to vehicles, causing lengthy delays.

But both Wigan Council and Network Rail say the work cannot be avoided because some parts of the bridge are badly corroded.

The rail company looked into strengthening the bridge but decided that the damage was so bad that it needed to be completely rebuilt.

Wigan Council’s streetworks co-ordinator, Tony Hemingway, said: “We take very seriously the safety of all road users and residents in the area and that is why we will have to close the bridge for repairs. We are working very closely with the bus companies and Bolton Council to provide diversions, including using local diversions as well as the A road alternatives which we are obliged to promote.

“There will also be a new temporary pedestrian footbridge to ensure the community can still access local services.”

The repairs to the bridge east of Atherton train station are scheduled to finish at the end of February 2012.