Bolton Skylink

Project Outline

Installation of a pedestrian link from Bolton train station to the newly constructed bus interchange through a 102m-long fully-encapsulated footbridge. The project was part of the upgrade of Bolton transport infrastructure by TfGM.

Key Challenges

Due to the town centre location and surrounding construction works, the project involved a large volume of interface with transport bodies, designers, councils and other contractors. The complexity of the design, driven by the client's high quality requirements for the project, gave Murphy a unique challenge which was far removed from the normal bridge construction projects we undertake.

The project had a small window of opportunity to install both foundations and the bridge span due to the modifications of track and platforms, as well as installation of overhead lines happening below the bridge at Bolton Station as part of the North West Electrification Project. These unique circumstances presented a challenge to Murphy, which the team worked tirelessly to overcome and ultimately deliver the scheme on time.

Project Delivery & Innovations

The structure of the bridge comprised of 4 No. concrete piers, one being a collision pier adjacent to existing rail lines, which were constructed prior to the installation of 4 No. span sections along with columns. The bridge is fully encapsulated and clad in a number of high specification materials including Kalzip, Kalwall, curtain walling and louvers.

Key Facts

  • A 750 tonne crane lifted the spans into place overnight, outside rail timetable hours, to minimise disruption to passengers.
  • Weekly integration meetings with TfGM, Network Rail and their contractors were held to improve project co-ordination and efficiency.
  • To minimise the railway possessions required throughout the project, an ALO barrier was constructed adjacent to the track to allow for piling works to be undertaken uninterrupted.
  • A second site compound located within the taxi rank at the train station was mobilised to allow other contractors to commence construction works of a new rail line through the Skylink site.
  • Each span was clad with the majority of Kalzip and curtain walling prior to lifting into position, further minimising disruption to the operational railway.
  • High quality resin floor finish was installed over insulated layer of GRP sheeting to achieve the client's thermal modelling requirements.
  • The 'One Murphy' approach ensured close collaboration between J. Murphy & Sons Ltd. and Murphy International and enabled the scheme to be delivered successfully despite extremely challenging site conditions and multiple contractors working in close proximity.










Transport for Greater Manchester


Bolton, Greater Manchester

Completion Date

September 2017



The Skylink Bridge and interchange opened to the public at 6am this morning receiving very positive feedback from both the public and staff. The quality of the design and construction shines through. - Karl Woolfenden TfGM Project Manager

Capabilities Demonstrated

  • Rail
  • Engineering
  • Design

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