Western Approach footbridge is officially being demolished

    Work is currently underway to tear the structure down over the next few days

    This week marks the end of an era, as the Western Approach footbridge is torn down.

    Four large mechanical excavators will be taking it apart chunk by chunk over a period of 60 hours.

    Gilpin, the demolition contractor, will lay down a timber crash mat - an expanse of hard-wearing dense wood - to protect the road surface from the weight of the excavators as well as from any debris that comes down.

    The bridge structure will be 'attacked' by the excavators who will aim to take down the bridge, the walking ramps as well as the lift shafts before the road reopens on 6am on Wednesday 30 September.

    The original intention had been to lift the bridge out by crane, but instead the demolition team are using large mechanical hydraulic shears and munchers on excavators to slice off the structure piece by piece.

    Once the main span is removed, the lift shafts and approach will be dismantled and following the demolition activities the paving will be reinstated.

    Over the last few days, lane closures have been introduced on Western Approach to allow the team to carry out more preparation work, including dismantling traffic signals and disconnecting power supplies from the bridge.

    The short bridge from the car park will be removed first; both the car park and the city centre end of King Street will be closed temporarily.

    As well as tearing down the bridge, the debris which is generated will be recycled and removed from site within the closure period. It is estimated that the bridge, the lifts, the lift shafts as well as the walkways will weigh up to 250 tonnes and will all have to be carted off by articulated trucks.

    SWH will install a new crossing for the north bound lane which will be laid diagonally following more closely the walking routes of locals going from Frankfort Gate to King Street.

    The signals will also be upgraded and better synched with other lights. The centre island will be upgraded to allow for additional pedestrian traffic. Kerbing realignment in King Street will also allow for an increase in pedestrian traffic.

    Resurfacing will also be carried out either side of the new pedestrian crossing and the footways re-paved.

    WATCH our Facebook Live video of the demolition works getting underway:

    Here as the demolition of the Western Approach Bridge gets underway #radioplymouth

    Posted by Radio Plymouth - 106.7 FM on Monday, September 28, 2020


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