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Charter Street Bridge to be lifted into position

Published on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A BRAND new footbridge connecting Abbey Park to Belgrave Road is being lifted into place this week.

The Charter Street Bridge, a five-metre wide structure spanning the Grand Union Canal near the new £4.8million Leicester Riders Arena, will be hoisted into place by a huge specialist crane on Thursday, October 19.

Work has been taking place onsite to assemble the £1.2million bridge over the last two weeks, culminating in the final lift into position this week.

The 51-metre steel bridge will be swung into position by a specialist 1,000-tonne Liebherr LTM11000 crane, equipped with one of the longest telescopic booms in the world. The crane itself is so large it will need to be assembled and dismantled by a smaller crane.

With the bridge in position, work can continue to complete the remainder of the landscaping, towpath improvements and new routes into the park, which form part of the wider scheme.

The bridge is due to open to the public in December.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The Charter Street Bridge will provide a much-needed cycle and pedestrian link between Belgrave Road and Abbey Park, across the Grand Union canal. 

“It will be an invaluable improvement to safety at events in Abbey Park when large numbers of people need to exit the park at the same time.

“The lifting into position of the bridge is a major milestone in the progress of this scheme, although there is still significant work to be done on landscaping, pathways and waterside improvements to complete the whole project.”

During the bridge lift itself, there will be short delays along that stretch of the Grand Union Canal. There will be a temporary closure during the morning between Lock 42 (North Lock) and Lock 43 (Limekiln Lock), with alternative routes for pedestrians and cyclists through Abbey Park. 

The bridge forms part of the North City Centre Area Improvement Programme, to improve public spaces and pedestrian links between key parts of the city.

A new network of paths from the bridge will link to the existing Abbey Park paths, and create better access to the neighbouring canal towpath.

The Canal and River Trust has also carried out towpath improvements at the site to make it more suitable for pedestrians and cyclists, as part of a £7.5million Local Growth Fund project, which will see the organisation working with the city council and Environment Agency on a range of waterway improvements over the next five years.

Nearby Memory Lane has recently been upgraded with newly-surfaced footways and carriageway, linking Leicester College with the arena and the footbridge, while footway improvements and new cycle provision have taken place in Charter Street itself.

An area of land on Archdeacon Lane was also upgraded into a high-quality public open space, including the planting of new trees and the installation of new cycle racks and seating.

Charter Street Bridge itself has been manufactured by specialists CTS Bridges, based in Huddersfield, and is being assembled and installed by Leicestershire contractors Danaher and Walsh. 

The project is being delivered by Leicester City Council with financial support from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership’s (LLEP) Local Growth Fund.