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Marsh House Bridge
Works have now completed on the installation of a new and improved bascule bridge carrying Marsh House Lane over the Sankey Canal and providing access to the Riverside Trading Estate and Marina at Fiddler’s Ferry.
A key priority of the Linking the Locks project, funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, was to safeguard businesses and jobs located in this area by improving access to the trading estate following the collapse of the original access bridge in September 2013. The new bascule bridge replaces the temporary steel bridge that was installed by Warrington Borough Council in October 2013.
The new bascule lift bridge will bring many benefits to the businesses and residents in the area which include:
- It is wider than the original bridge – providing improved access for commercial and leisure vehicles, including motorhomes
- It will be capable of accepting loads up to 40 tonnes to cater for future developments in the area (the current 7.5 tonne weight limit will currently remain in place)
- It will provide opportunity for further developments and improvements to the area surrounding the Sankey Canal, benefitting businesses and the local communities
- The lift bridge will provide future access for boats along the Sankey Canal and into Fiddler’s Ferry Marina
Due to the location of the works, the project has required continuous liaison between AMCO, the principal contractor for the project, Network Rail, National Grid, adjacent businesses and members of the public. The construction works were in close proximity of an operational railway and level crossing which required careful planning to avoid affecting train movements whilst also informing businesses and the public of road closures and access restrictions at key times.
In addition to the improved bridge, Network Rail completed their upgrade of the level crossing in 2015 which includes the installation of automated barriers to the railway line running parallel to Riverside Trading Estate.
“I’m delighted to see that this much-needed bridge is now in place” says Cllr Hans Mundry, executive board member for highways and transport, “the scheme was not without its challenges and has required both Warrington Borough Council and the contractor to work very closely with the local businesses and communities to minimise disruption as much as possible. However the new bridge is an invaluable addition to the area and future-proofs Fiddler’s Ferry for further developments”
In addition to the successful installation of the new bascule bridge, Linking the Locks project officer Jonathan Aghanian and the team at Warrington & Co. have assisted over 60 local businesses supporting them with recruitment, training and development. Local SME’s and micro-businesses have received financial assistance to bring forward their workforce development plans to create 27 apprenticeships leading to permanent positions, along with other full-time roles across a wide range of sectors including; leisure & retail, health & social care, hair & beauty, construction, warehousing & logistics, floristry and professional services.
9 young people took part in a Princes Trust programme working with Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire & Merseyside on a project at Sankey Bridges, 3 of whom have gained employment and 4 have progressed onto further learning.
The project continues to support businesses across Warrington and Widnes with further permanent job opportunities to come.