Blackburn's Wainwright bridge opens to traffic

Blackburn's Wainwright bridge opens to traffic

The first traffic crosses

LET’S ROLL: Children from St Anne’s cross the bridge

Coun Cottam, Jack Straw, Coun Khan and Coun Rigby open the bridge

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

SCHOOL children on bicycles were met with loud applause today as they became the first to cross Blackburn’s new £12million bridge.

The landmark Wainwright Bridge, named after a vote by Lancashire Telegraph readers, has been taking shape on the town’s skyline for months. Soon after yesterday’s opening ceremony, barriers were removed and cars began to use the new link between Bolton Road and Montague Street — which council bosses say will ease traffic jams and change the town’s landscape forever.

Pedestrians and more cyclists followed, and traffic across the dual carriageway began to flow smoothly.

Preparing to cut the ribbon to formally open the bridge, Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “It’s a great day, not just for the regeneration of the town but for the whole of East Lancashire.

“It’s a fantastic example of what Blackburn can produce.”

The bridge was named after Blackburn fell walking legend Alfred Wainwright.

Mayor Mohammed Khan said: “He was a famous person who was born and raised in this town and it is a proud day.

“This will be a landmark for Blackburn for years to come.”

Coun Khan paid tribute to the team of engineers and architects that worked on the Sydney Harbour-style bridge.

Youngsters from St Anne’s RC Primary School, in nearby in Fielden Lane, were the first to try the bridge out.

And Coun Alan Cottam, executive member for regeneration, said it would open up the town to new investment and improve transport links.

He added: “Many years ago, when we closed Church Street, I was the lone voice that said we should wait until we had an alternative. Now we have that alternative.”

The bridge will eventually link up with the £4million final stage of the town's orbital route, which is expected to be completed in 2009.

Chief engineer Faris Samin, of Capita Symonds, said the project had been hit by some setbacks - notably bad weather - since building work began in September.

He added: “Projects like this don’t tend to go smoothly, and we had a period of high winds which caused problems.

“But this is the culmination of four to five years’ work and we have worked very hard to get here.”

Comments (5)

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6:45am Sat 28 Jun 08

Mon says...

But there are no shops and pubs on this alternative Mr Cottam. And since You closed Church Street there are none there either.
But there are no shops and pubs on this alternative Mr Cottam. And since You closed Church Street there are none there either. Mon
  • Score: 0

10:36am Sat 28 Jun 08

andrewb says...

shame my workmate orginal winning design was not built.

And how come traffic coming from under Darwen street bridge cannot go fully down canterbury street instead of been forced left over the new bridge. This means all traffic coming from audley has to past asda, Has Blackburn council never seen the traffic problems around here at christmas time.
shame my workmate orginal winning design was not built. And how come traffic coming from under Darwen street bridge cannot go fully down canterbury street instead of been forced left over the new bridge. This means all traffic coming from audley has to past asda, Has Blackburn council never seen the traffic problems around here at christmas time. andrewb
  • Score: 0

1:23pm Sat 28 Jun 08

A Darener says...

Used the bridge for first time this morning, quite impressive. But I think the novelty will soon wear off.
Used the bridge for first time this morning, quite impressive. But I think the novelty will soon wear off. A Darener
  • Score: 0

9:07am Mon 30 Jun 08

Taztastic says...

I used the bridge for the first time on Saturday, when you exit the bridge you are turned left towards Darwen street bridge and have to go around the Townsmoor development. The traffic was backed up and it took ages, what was the point of this bridge?
I used the bridge for the first time on Saturday, when you exit the bridge you are turned left towards Darwen street bridge and have to go around the Townsmoor development. The traffic was backed up and it took ages, what was the point of this bridge? Taztastic
  • Score: 0

10:06am Mon 30 Jun 08

starling says...

Taztastic wrote:
Agreed. This was a good opportunity to get rid of the daft one way system around that area. I would use the bridge if the route took you behind the townsmoor park and straight onto Park Road / Grimshaw Park. You just always seem to be driving back on yourself!
[quote][bold]Taztastic[/bold] wrote: [/quote]Agreed. This was a good opportunity to get rid of the daft one way system around that area. I would use the bridge if the route took you behind the townsmoor park and straight onto Park Road / Grimshaw Park. You just always seem to be driving back on yourself! starling
  • Score: 0
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