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New development reaches major milestone

All eyes were on Manchester’s new hospital development when a 38 tonne centre section of a bridge was lowered into place yesterday to complete the 110 tonne foot bridge linking two state-of-the-art buildings. The 74 metre foot bridge was built and transported in three sections. The two end sections were initially installed, leaving the final centre section to be hoisted into place, suspended from a 500 tonne crane on Sunday. Gill Heaton, Director of Patient Services at Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “The new children’s hospital is part of our New Hospitals’ Development which marks the single largest investment ever to take place in healthcare in Greater Manchester. Alongside the new children’s hospital are new facilities for Saint Mary’s Hospital, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and Manchester Royal Infirmary. “When all our children’s services in Manchester are relocated from Royal Manchester and Booth Hall Children’s Hospitals next summer, we will have the largest children’s hospital in the country providing excellent care and state-of-the-art facilities. Preparations are already underway to ensure the smooth transition over to this new hospital which will provide an integrated centre of excellence for Manchester and the North West region.” Roger Potts, General Manager of Catalyst Healthcare (Manchester) Ltd, which manages the project, said: “This was an important day in the construction of the new hospitals. Everything ran smoothly and just as planned – right from transporting the different sections of the bridge from Yorkshire, through to lowering the centre section into place. “This project is the largest single investment ever in Manchester’s hospitals. The installation of this foot bridge is tangible evidence of just how far this project has come in three years. We remain on schedule for completion and look forward to delivering a brand new, state-of-the-art suite of hospitals to Manchester next year.” The installation of the new bridge is seen as a key milestone for the project and one that, when complete, will carry some of the expected one million patients each year, across a landscaped boulevard from the new Clinical Sciences Building to the flagship Children’s Hospital – the largest in the UK. The bridge was constructed offsite by Corus Northern Engineering Services in Scunthorpe. Each section was transported from Yorkshire to Manchester and lifted into place. The modular construction and short installation was relatively rare in the construction industry. Bovis Lend Lease is managing the construction programme. Work on the 145,000 square metre new hospitals’ project started in 2004 and will deliver four new hospitals with over 1,100 beds to the Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Trust from summer 2009.