23 March 2016
Western Bank Bridge a major road into Sheffield city centre which cuts through the University of Sheffield campus and forms a pedestrian concourse link, is to undergo a six-month strengthening project through the Streets Ahead project.
Work will begin on Tuesday 29th March and lane closures will be in place during the night for the first two weeks. After that, diversions onto the other side of the road, depending on which side of the bridge is being worked on, will be in place throughout the six-month period, but the bridge will never be fully closed. Most of the work will take place from the underside of the bridge; however lane closures are required when working on the structure to reduce the weight whilst works are undertaken.
Cllr Terry Fox, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Many of the bridges across the city need to be strengthened and repaired to ensure that they remain safe for the public to use. We know that the works on Western Bank Bridge may cause some disruption but we would ask that the public understand why we need to carry out these vital repairs.”
Andrew Harley, Streets Ahead’s Structures Manager, said: “It’s important that we carry out works on the bridge now to undertake much needed concrete and steelwork repairs to maintain the bridge’s integrity and ensure it is safe for the future.
“The bridge will benefit from critical concrete repairs to the underside, new bearings, full waterproof system and repairs to leaking drainage within the bridge.
“Most of the work will be carried out from underneath the bridge and we will jack the bridge up slightly in order to work on it. We will have to limit traffic on the side of the bridge that we’re working on at a particular time in order to keep weight to a minimum. Traffic will still be able to pass in both directions as contraflow diversions will be in place, directing traffic onto just one side of the bridge.
“We are aware that this is a busy route which intersects the University of Sheffield’s city campus and we are working very closely with the University in order to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum throughout the works.”
“We recognise that this is a vital piece of maintenance work to ensure the safety and integrity of a major route into the city centre. Naturally, work on this scale on such a major road will cause some disruption, but we will co-operate fully with Streets Ahead to ensure that they can carry out the works with as little negative impact as possible on our students and staff and the wider Sheffield public,” said Keith Lilley, Director of Estates and Facilities Management at the University of Sheffield. “We look forward to completion of the works ready for the new academic year in September.”
The team is working hard to keep disruption to a minimum during the 22-week period that work is expected to take place. The bridge will always remain open just with lane closures in place. However, queues around the area are likely and drivers are being advised, if possible, to plan an alternative route if travelling in and around the area.
The Streets Ahead team maintain over 600 bridges across Sheffield, many of which have been upgraded or will need some improvements making to them to fit the future needs of the city.