Last updated 13 March 2023
New bridge lift marks key step in multi-million pound Stockport Interchange transformation
The 40m long bridge was lifted into place on the evening of Friday, March 10
A huge, new 90 tonne bridge connecting the Stockport Interchange development to the town’s train station was successfully lifted into place over the weekend, marking a key step in the transformative town centre scheme.
Construction of the new transport interchange, which is set to support the wider regeneration of Stockport town centre, has been underway since August 2021, and will include a new two-acre ‘podium park’ on the roof of the building and 196 high-quality residential apartments.
The vast corten steel pedestrian and cycling bridge was carefully manoeuvred into its final position over Daw Bank using a 750-tonne crane by scheme contractor Willmott Dixon and their engineers at the weekend. Owing to its sheer size, the bridge was initially delivered in two pieces before being assembled into one complete structure on site.
Due to open alongside the new park and interchange in Spring 2024, the 40m-long bridge will provide a traffic-free, accessible route connecting the new interchange to Station Rd and onward to the railway station. The bridge will merge into a cycling and walking path with two seated rest areas along the route, providing a seamless and dedicated link for users to walk, wheel or cycle between the new Interchange park and Station Road.
The Interchange project, which represents part of a major £1bn investment in Stockport, is being delivered by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Stockport Council, and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) in conjunction with contractor Willmott Dixon.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “The installation of the new bridge above Daw Bank is a major feat of engineering and marks an exciting milestone in the ongoing development of Stockport Interchange.
“The bridge is a key link connecting the new interchange to the railway station and will significantly enhance how residents and visitors access the town centre, whether they are walking, wheeling or cycling.
“We are witnessing not only the transformation of Stockport town centre, but the delivery of the wider Bee Network – our vision for an integrated transport system, connecting bus, rail and active travel and allowing seamless journeys across the borough and beyond.”
Due to open in 2024, Stockport Interchange forms a core part of the Town Centre West regeneration district, a 130-acre site that will see new housing, leisure, workspace and amenities delivered alongside these major transport and infrastructure improvements.
Once complete, the Interchange will be a key transport hub for the city-region and part of the Bee Network – the vision for a fully-integrated transport network bringing together trams, buses, walking, wheeling, cycling and eventually trains in Greater Manchester.
Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “The installation of the bridge over Daw Bank is another landmark moment at the Interchange development, which will now further link up all the regeneration work which is happening in our town centre.
“The new bridge will ensure everyone can travel from Stockport Exchange and the train station to the Interchange, on to our brand-new 2 acre Podium Park and then onwards to the town centre in a car-free environment.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time for Stockport and I’m really looking forward to more milestones taking place at the Interchange development over the next six months.”
Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the north, added: “We’re proud to be playing our part in creating what will be a transformational new gateway for Stockport and a really exciting addition to the skyline of the town centre. The new cycle and walking link bridge installation is a huge feat of engineering, and testament to the great collaborative effort from everyone involved in the project to date.
“The interchange’s impact is already being felt; it is creating a legacy of investment, skills and opportunities in Stockport, having already created 89 new employment opportunities for local people and delivered more than 200 weeks of apprenticeships and training.”
The Town Centre West transformation plans are being delivered by the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC), an innovative partnership that sets a new benchmark for town centre regeneration.
The partnership brings together powers devolved to the Greater Manchester Mayor combined with strong local leadership from Stockport Council and the long-term commitment of the government’s housing agency, Homes England, to deliver an ambitious vision for the future of Stockport town centre.