Project outline

Murphy installed a pedestrian link from Bolton train station to the newly constructed bus interchange through a 102m long, fully-encapsulated footbridge. The project was part of the upgrade of Bolton transport infrastructure by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

Key challenges

Due to the town centre location and surrounding construction works, the project involved a large amount of interaction with transport bodies, designers, councils and other contractors.

The project had a small window of opportunity to install both the foundations and the bridge span, due to the modifications of track and platforms, as well as the installation of overhead lines happening below the bridge at Bolton Station, as part of the North West Electrification Project. These unique circumstances presented a challenge to us, which the team worked tirelessly to overcome and ultimately deliver the scheme on time.

Project delivery and innovations

The structure of the bridge was made up of four concrete piers with steel support columns, one being a collision pier adjacent to existing rail lines. The bridge was fabricated to a truss design, using box sections with the main cords being 400mm by 300mm by 16mm RHS. The bridge was constructed in four spans. Two of these were 32m long by 4m wide and 3.8m high. The other two spans were 17m and 21m long. Sections were fabricated at the Murphy Yard in Newbridge, Co. Kildare and transported to the UK for painting. They were then taken to site for cladding and installation.

The bridge is fully encapsulated and clad in a number of high specification materials including Kalzip, Kalwall, curtain walling and louvers with stainless steel balustrades. The inside of the bridge received stainless steel handrails, specialist flooring, suspended ceiling and lighting. A security and public announcement system was also installed.

The enhancement project was part of the upgrade of the Bolton transport infrastructure and the electrification of the MVE lines.

Key facts
  •  A 750 tonne crane lifted the spans into place overnight. We ensured this was outside rail timetable hours, in order to minimise disruption to passengers.
  • Weekly integration meetings with TfGM, Network Rail and their contractors were held to improve project coordination and efficiency.
  • To minimise the railway possessions required throughout the project, an ALO barrier was constructed adjacent to the track. This allowed for piling works to be undertaken uninterrupted.
  • A second site compound located within the taxi rank at the train station was mobilised, to allow other contractors to commence construction works of a new rail line through the Skylink site.
  • Each span was clad with the majority of Kalzip and curtain walling before being lifted into position, which further minimised disruption to the operational railway.
  • High quality resin floor finish was installed over an insulated layer of GRP sheeting, to achieve the client's thermal modelling requirements.
  • The 'One Murphy' approach ensured close collaboration between J. Murphy & Sons Ltd. and Murphy International. This enabled the scheme to be delivered successfully, despite extremely challenging site conditions and multiple contractors working in close proximity.

Related projects

Bolton Skylink.

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