Touch Down for Airport City’s £6 million bridge

Ella Sanders
The 50m bridge establishes a vital link between the Airport and Airport City North, the 90-acre development area which includes a 1 million sq. ft campus for The Hut Group, a hotel district and a variety of office schemes.

The team at Airport City Manchester achieved a major milestone this weekend as a £6 million bridge was carefully manoeuvred into place above the M56 motorway spur. 

Designed to be accessible to all, the pedestrian and cycle bridge will also provide a safe, dedicated and direct level access route to the Airport’s regional transport hub for the local community.

Faithful+Gould has been at the heart of this project since its inception in 2016. Our Project Managers led a collaborative team that saw the design evolve into the contemporary Cor-Ten steel span that touched down into position in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Faithful+Gould’s Project Manager Natasha Dayes coordinated the project’s early stages. Natasha said, “We worked closely with the Designers (5plus and ROC Consulting) and the Development Manager throughout the design process. The design team carefully considered the balance between the needs of potential users and the desire to create a landmark structure at the heart of Airport City.  Planning and funding approval were secured through proactive consultation with Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester. To see the bridge finally come to life for the development and the wider community is fantastic.”

The construction phase, which included on and off-site fabrication by Cleveland Bridge and BCEGI, followed a procurement process led by Faithful+Gould’s commercial team. Construction Project Manager, Neil Cheadle, added, “The bridge’s position across Manchester Airport’s main approach road introduced significant risk to the project and the travel plans of millions of airport passengers. It was therefore critical that the importance of the installation window was clearly defined in the building contract. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the programme and severely disrupted the supply chain but the team has done an amazing job to overcome these challenges, completing the installation phase at the first attempt within the critical time window.”

Neil was on site on the evening of Saturday 11th July alongside Faithful+Gould’s Account Lead, Chris Rumsey. Chris said, “The whole team has worked really hard together over a number of years to bring this project to fruition. Seeing the bridge touch down into place gave us all a tremendous sense of achievement. With the bridge and road infrastructure in place and the THG campus and wider enabling works advancing at pace across Airport City North, the development is gaining real momentum and it’s great that we can continue to make a positive contribution.”


The bridge marks the second major infrastructure collaboration between Airport City and Faithful+Gould following the construction of Enterprise Way, the £15m highway that connects the office and hotel development plots to the rest of the site and the wider regional transport network.

About Airport City

One of the most exciting business destinations in development today, ideally situated adjacent to Manchester Airport. Airport City Manchester will develop 5 million sq. ft of offices, logistics, hotels and advanced manufacturing space over the next 10-15 years, with a total development value of £1 billion.

Faithful+Gould provide integrated Project and Commercial Management expertise to Airport City’s critical infrastructure and major development projects, commercial and strategic support to the Development Manager and a development-wide Programme Management Office which supports the joint venture partners.

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