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Delays and diversions: Work starts on M602 bridge which has ‘needed facelift for 40 years’

12 weeks of work to improve a pedestrian bridge over the M602 in Eccles is due to start on 30 August and drivers are being warned of potential delays.

Highways England say the shabby, worn-out bridge is getting more “ragged and difficult to repair”.

It’ll be fully closed for three months while work takes place and is expected to be finished by mid-November.

This will be a serious inconvenience to elderly people who walk between their flats and Eccles town centre.

But a walking diversion will take pedestrians on the shortest well-lit walking route via Church Street, John William Street, Albert Street and Wellington Road.

The footbridge was installed in the 1970s for the opening of the M602, which links Manchester with the M60 motorway via Eccles.

It is well used by pedestrians walking between Eccles and Monton and is a recognisable structure at the top of Church Street, near Eccles railway station.

M602 footbridge - by Matthew Wilkinson via Flickr

M602 footbridge – by Matthew Wilkinson via Flickr

But the walkway has long needed updating.

£830,000 will pay for a new steel mesh canopy with clear panels to properly cover the bridge and to make it safer for pedestrians.

Most of the work will take place at night, with some closures in place between Junction 2 at Gilda Brook Road and Junction 3 for Trafford Park, 10pm and 5am Monday to Friday.

Occasional daytime work will take place between 8am and 5pm, but the road will not be closed.

Roadworkers will at some point need to close the eastbound exit slip road and the westbound entry slip road at either end while work takes place.

Highways England confirmed this morning that the dates had not been formalised yet and will be decided as work progresses.

Businesses in Eccles helped choose the design in a public consultation last year.

Highways England Project Manager Mark Mosley said: “The route is very important as it serves the station and the town, but the bridge canopy is looking very ragged these days and becoming more difficult to repair.

“I’m sure that a smart new bridge will provide a much improved welcome to Eccles from the station.”

Councillor Roger Jones, Lead member for transport at Salford City Council, said: “This local landmark is in need of a facelift after 40 years and unfortunately this can’t be done with it open.

“I’m delighted that Highways England has worked with local people on the new design for the canopy and I look forward to seeing it in place.”

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.