Bickershaw Lane Bridge was originally designed to carry occasional traffic and pedestrians across a railway line. However, the railway has since been removed and its former been abandoned. Due to the age of the bridge and its continual state of deterioration and corrosion, along with the increasing weight of the vehicular traffic above, the project aimed to reinforce and strengthen this structure while maintaining the traffic flow on the roadway above while still allowing potential HGV access beneath the bridge in the future.
The design which Wigan B.C. had chosen was to use a pre-fabricated steel multi-plate structure, which would be assembled beneath the existing bridge to form a tunnel-like formation, keeping the access open beneath the bridge, while considerably increasing the existing bridge’s bearing capacity. The voids between the two structures then required mass filling with concrete, however to achieve the filling of all voids; 170 cubic metres of foam concrete was used and poured though core-holes in the roadway above. This required the roadway to be closed and as such required liaising with the Highways Agency and careful planning to ensure minimal disruption.
Other works required in conjunction with this project was the installation of new drainage beneath the multi-plate structure to minimise the chance of ponding in the tunnel and landscaping and overgrowth clearance works at either end of the tunnel to improve the completed appeal of the scheme.
A large electrical upgrade had to be installed for the scheme for the new LED lighting system, new CCTV system and smart key barrier control.