First heavyweight lift of new footbridge planned

One of Europe's largest cranes will be arriving in Telford at the end of June to lift the first section of the new footbridge into place.

First heavyweight lift of new footbridge planned

The project funded by a Government Department for Transport grant, replaces the existing footbridge that connects Telford Central Station to the town centre.

The project is well under way with large sections of steel for the first smaller railway bridge being assembled adjacent to the A442, ready for hoisting into place.

The weight of the new railway bridge is estimated to be around 95 tonnes - that's the equivalent of more than seven double-decker buses. This heavyweight structure will be lifted into place in early July.

Such a complex operation requires the LG1750 crane which is ideal for high, heavy lifts and will be assembled on a southbound section of the A442 over a three-day period. The crane itself is too large to be delivered as a single load and will be brought to site by 16, escorted, heavy duty wagons carrying abnormal loads from Wednesday, June 27.

Consequently a number of road closures are necessary. The southbound section of the A442 will be closed from June 27 to July 2 and overnight closures on the northbound lanes will also be in place for safety precautions while the bridge is lifted.

Rail travel is uninterrupted and all trains will continue to run with access to Telford Central station maintained throughout the works. There will however be a partial closure of the car park between midnight and 7am on Sunday 1 July.

The extreme weight and height involved in the lift, means the whole operation is highly sensitive to weather conditions, particularly wind. Even low wind speeds may result in the lift being postponed until conditions improve to allow for the safe lifting of the bridge. As a contingency the crane will be on site until Wednesday, July 4.

Keen engineers and interested residents will be able to watch the lift via a live stream from the Telford & Wrekin Youtube channel and a viewing platform will be set up at a safe distance should people wish to watch this milestone in the town's development, although the lift will take place between 12pm and 5am.

Visit Telford Footbridge webpage where details are available. The diversions map is available here

Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Commercial Services and Economic Development, said: “These big structures show that this massive and extremely challenging project is really getting off the ground and making great progress. It's also a reflection of the town's development and how are working to improve its infrastructure and the gateway to the town centre.

"Anyone who has walked up the current bridge knows how steep and limiting they are. This funding means new lifts are being installed to help people with mobility issues and heavy loads, glass panels along the main walkway will protect users from the elements and modern lighting will make for a safer environment.

"We appreciate that the road closures will be inconvenient but we're doing all we can to make this process as efficient as possible. We're asking businesses to support the community when the diversions come into effect by staggering start times for employees working in and around the town centre or allowing people to work from home where possible.

“Residents can also help by car sharing or if they live close enough, by biking to the town centre as small changes such as these will make a big difference to congestion around peak times.

“I’d like to thank everyone in advance for their patience while this work is being carried out and assure everyone that we are doing all we can to make the process as efficient and safe as possible for everyone involved.”

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