Plans for the repair of Kay Street Bridge in Summerseat which was badly damaged in the Boxing Day floods of 2015 are taking shape with Bury Council set to approve using Compulsory Purchase powers to buy land on and around the bridge, currently in private ownership, which is necessary for the work to go ahead.
The fate of the bridge made national headlines when Storm Eva hit Bury, leading to historic flooding that caused the partial collapse of the former Waterside Inn. This left the bridge with no physical barrier on one side which has meant that the bridge has since been closed to vehicles for safety reasons.
The council proposes to repair the damaged bridge to include a parapet and also to widen it to include a separate footway.
The use of CPO powers is recommended for approval at the council’s cabinet meeting today.
Councillor Judith Kelly, cabinet member for corporate affairs and regulatory services, said: “Storm Eva brought the worst flooding on record in Bury, bringing misery to hundreds of Bury residents and causing a huge amount of damage.
“Like many people in Summerseat, we have long wanted to see Kay Street Bridge fully re-opened, but to do the work required we need to acquire land from two landowners. So far we have not reached agreement on a sale with them, and we will continue to seek that agreement; however, in order to ensure that the land is acquired within a reasonable timeframe, we think it is appropriate to start the CPO process to run in parallel with these negotiations.”
Since the closure of Kay Street Bridge, all through traffic has been forced to use Twist Bridge, the only other road crossing the River Irwell in Summerseat. This has been ill-suited to accept such an increase in traffic given that it has, in parts, no footways, a single traffic lane, a height restriction and a blind bend which has necessitated the installation of temporary traffic signals. This has led to congestion during peak hours, drivers speeding and vehicles having to pass each other where substandard carriageway width exists.