Key milestone in Ilkeston bridge project

The new Awsworth Road bridge structure. Picture submitted.
The new Awsworth Road bridge structure. Picture submitted.

Rail chiefs have completed a key milestone in a multi-million pound project to reconstruct Awsworth Road bridge in Ilkeston.

The structure was demolished earlier this month and a new, ready-made bridge deck was installed.

The bridge deck gives a new lease of life to the 116-year-old structure.

Network Rail started work on the bridge in September and the upgrade will be completed in April next year.

The £3million project is a vital part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan to deliver a bigger and better service for passengers.

Once completed, residents and businesses will benefit from a stronger bridge.

As well as ensuring that the bridge will last another 100 years, the project will deliver an improved road across the structure, giving drivers better visibility on approach.

The full road closure which is currently in place will remain until the end of March next year.

Chris Chatfield, project manager at Network Rail, said: “When completed, this upgrade will create a better bridge for all users.

“It’s a key step in our plan to upgrade infrastructure to improve journeys and move freight from road to rail.

“I’d like to thank the residents of Ilkeston for their patience while this work is carried out and hope that they will enjoy the benefits when the upgrade is completed.”

Gary Walsh, Network Rail’s area director for the East Midlands, added: “It is an exciting time for passengers in the East Midlands and this investment is another important step in our plan to upgrade infrastructure to improve journeys and move freight from road to rail.”

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain’s railway – the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations.

In partnership with train operators, the organisation helps people take more than 1.65 billion journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost eight million lorry journeys.

It employs 36,000 people across Britain.

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail’s investment plan for Britain’s railways.

It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail’s £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019.