One of Manchester’s major city centre routes is being shut this weekend for essential maintenance work.
The Mancunian Way will be closed on Saturday 19 March and Sunday 20 March.
The repairs had been scheduled to take place the previous weekend, when Manchester United had a home Premier League match and there were major events in the city.
However, the council says this weekend is much more convenient due to there being no Premier League football taking place in the city, so it has moved the repair work.
When is the Mancunian Way being shut and why?
The closure will be in place from 5am on Saturday 19 March until 7pm on Sunday 20 March.
It will be in place from Chester Road roundabout through to Pin Mill Brow.
The Mancunian Way is shut each year for a couple of days to make sure the bridge is safe for road users.
The work will include safety inspections, road repairs, lighting inspections, street sweeping, drainage and general work to improve any defects. The overall integrity of the structure will also be assessed.
Manchester City Council says that given there has been a spate of accidents on the road in recent months this year’s maintenance shutdown is all the more important.
Why was the date of the work shifted?
The council decided it was able to move the roadworks from the previous weekend as Manchester United were playing at home and 86,000 vehicles typically use the Mancunian Way on a matchday at Old Trafford.
The council originally wanted to do the roadworks this weekend (19 March and 20 March) but thought again as Manchester City were down to play Brighton and Hove Albion at home.
With that match now postponed, though, the possibility of a maintenance weekend with much lighter levels of disruption in the city has now been taken.
What should I do to get around the road closure?
Diversion routes will be in place for the duration of the closure with signs put out to point drivers in the right direction.
However, to avoid being caught in the congestion the council is advising drivers plan ahead and familiarise themselves with the recommended diversion routes.
For journeys through the city centre, especially for west to east and east to west trips, the local authority has recommended using the M60.
Travel guidance is available for the weekend on a dedicated page of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) website.
What has the council said?
Coun Tracey Rawlins, Manchester City Council’s executive member for environment, said: “Tens of thousands of cars use the bridge each day, so these works are vital to ensure the safety of the road – but we try to choose an appropriate weekend to undertake the maintenance work to limit congestion caused by the closure.
“The weekend coming was originally chosen as it presented the least amount of disruption on our roads, but it is right that we can be flexible to changing circumstances.
“Given the postponement of the Man City game against Brighton it is sensible to reschedule our maintenance works to limit the impact on road users.”