Schoolchildren open new Lodge Lane North footbridge in Runcorn
Local schoolchildren have opened a new footbridge over the Central Expressway at Halton Lodge in Runcorn on behalf of the Mersey Gateway Project.
Construction joint venture Merseylink invited school council members from Woodside Primary School to be guests of honour at a special opening ceremony for the Lodge Lane North footbridge which is open as of today (11 July).
Thirteen pupils from Woodside Primary School were joined by Headteacher Richard Collings and Merseylink Project Director Richard Walker to cut a ribbon and lead a dash across the bridge to declare the new pedestrian bridge at Halton Lodge officially open.
George Smith, age 7, was one of the Woodside Primary pupils at the ceremony, and he actually got to cut the ribbon and declare the new bridge open. He said: “I really like this new bridge it is much higher and wider than the other one.”
Fellow pupil Chloe Osborne, age 6, said: “I think the new bridge looks really pretty. We’re all looking forward to using it properly now it is open.”
Lexie Rogers, age 9, said ”I really like the bridge because it looks just like the Runcorn-Widnes Bridge – it’s great.”
Merseylink is changing the road layout at Lodge Lane junction in preparation for the new Mersey Gateway route, so the original 1960s footbridge has been replaced with a longer, wider structure that connects Halton Lodge to Hallwood Park.
The new steel bridge was transported to site in five separate pieces, which were lifted into place by a crane. It was then bolted together and welded to create one seamless piece of steel.
The old bridge was dismantled and removed on the weekend of 9 and 10 July.
Chris Buckley, Landside Operations Manager at Merseylink, said: “This is one of 12 bridges across Halton that are being replaced, upgraded or remodeled as part of essential project works. The new footbridge is made entirely of steel and extremely durable. We hope that the local community will enjoy their new landmark for many years to come.”
Woodside Primary School headteacher Richard Collings said: The bridge is smart and modern-looking. It’s much wider as well, which will be helpful when we are walking the children down to Halton Lea.”
Cllr. Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “The project is about much more than just a bridge, it is a vital link for communities and its fantastic to see the borough’s roads and existing infrastructure upgraded and improved right acoss the project route. The improvements are a direct benefit to our local communities and it’s a delight to see pupils from Woodside Primary School involved.”