Massive £350,000 repair project begins in one of Manchester city center’s busiest squares

Work is underway on a £350,000 repair project in one of the busiest squares in the city centre.

Pavers and cobblestones will be replaced and upgraded at Exchange Square starting this week.

Manchester City Council say the plan will be implemented in phases to minimize disruption to pedestrians, residents and businesses.

A complete closure of the square is therefore not necessary.

The work is expected to be completed by the end of March.

The council said the existing pavers and cobblestones in Exchange Square have “deteriorated over the years” as it is one of the “most used areas of Manchester city centre”.

The budget for the project is just under £350,000

The council said areas for improvement include repair and relocation of black granite on Exchange Square itself “as 50 percent of the existing stone has been damaged” and minor repairs to the Yorkstone pavement on the sloping area.

The budget for the project is £346,000, including parts and labour.

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In 2019, Manchester Council spent over £800,000 to replace the water fountains in Exchange Square.

Council bosses originally signed £700,000 for the project and said it was expected to take around six months.

The council spent over £800,000 in 2019 to replace the fountains

But the redesign ended up going more than £120,000 over budget and delayed by five months due to ‘technical issues’.

Obviously this was related to the original granite slates showing cracks and the plans had to be revised.

Just two days after the new fountains were unveiled, they had to be closed again for “routine maintenance.”

The release immediately sparked criticism from some MEN readers and the opposition Lib Dems.

This summer, city center spokesman Pat Karney vowed to track down pranksters who put soap in the fountains and take them to court.

Pranksters put soap in the new fountains in the summer

But Earl Karney had to accept his defeat when it turned out that the council’s CCTV cameras were facing the wrong way at the time of the incident.

Environment Executive Council member Tracey Rawlins said: “Exchange Square is one of the most used and valued spaces in the city center but it definitely needs some care and attention.

“We hope to minimize disruption while these works are underway, but hope we can rely on the public’s understanding during their duration.”


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