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29 July 2015

Rochdale’s refurbished underpass opens to the public, UK

A refurbished underpass at Rochdale Railway Station in Greater Manchester, UK, has reopened to the public. Mott MacDonald delivered civil and mechanical and electrical designs for the project on behalf of Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Rochdale Borough Council and Network Rail. 

Since closing in 1979 when the railway station was downsized, the 40m long underpass has been in a poor state of repair. The reopening now provides pedestrians with a convenient route between TfGM’s park and ride car park, Rochdale Railway Station and one of the town’s Metrolink stops.


The refurbishment included the fitting of new signage, CCTV and lighting, brickwork repairs, waterproofing of underbridges along the route, grit blasting and the painting of metallic structures and fencing throughout, as well as the construction of a new drainage system and relaying of new pavement. Many of the original subway’s heritage features have been restored, including the ironwork, bridge decks, railings and tiles. Mott MacDonald’s design incorporated a number of sustainable approaches, such as new lighting fixtures which use the latest LED technology and provide ease of maintenance whilst ensuring minimal power consumption. Materials such as the coping stones were also reused from the original site to reduce waste.


Behnam Sarani, Mott MacDonald’s project manager, said: “Our key challenge on the project was to develop a design which was compliant with Network Rail’s standards, whilst being sympathetic to the area’s history and heritage. We utilised a collaborative design process, working closely with TfGM, Network Rail, Rochdale Borough Council, Northern Rail and Jamieson’s Contracting, to deliver a design which met all the requirements while offering value for money.” 


Councillor Andrew Fender, committee chair of TfGM, said: “It is excellent news that the Miall Street underpass has been opened as it really brings a lot of benefits to both commuters and businesses in the surrounding area and will hopefully encourage more people to use public transport.”


“The opening of the underpass will cut the walking distance between the car park, train platforms and Metrolink stop by around 200m, enabling public transport users to get around more quickly and in a much safer, pleasant and secure environment,” Andrew added. 


Lawrence Cheung, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: "This scheme demonstrates the ongoing partnership work between Network Rail, TfGM and Northern Rail to deliver schemes for the benefit of passengers."


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