Work to remove Western Approach footbridge to start

Plans to demolish the dated Western Approach footbridge are moving a step closer.

Work is expected to start mid September and the whole scheme is due to last nine weeks, from contractors getting the site ready to resurfacing at the end. The main span of the bridge will be removed over a Saturday evening to Monday evening. There will be a road closure and diversions in place.

The development comes after magistrates formally agreed to ‘stop up’ the highway rights to the footbridge at a hearing earlier this month.

Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet member for Finance and City Centre champion said: “This bridge completely dominates Frankfort Gate. Removing it will open up Frankfort Gate, create extra light and space in this part of the city centre as well as getting rid of a tired and ugly structure.”

Western Approach Car Park and its connecting covered footbridge were built in the late 1980s, with the bridge, ramps and lifts linking the car park to the city centre over Western Approach.

The bridge has passed its sell by date, the lifts have not worked for a decade and because it spans a busy inner ring road, maintenance has proved difficult. The glazing and guttering leaks and the covering encourages anti-social behaviour.

The demolition is part of the Council’s long term plan to regenerate Colin Campbell Court and to link the city centre to the sea.

The bridge will be dismantled in a similar fashion to the Union Street bridge which was taken down in 2018. Two huge cranes will be deployed to remove 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. Once the main span is removed, the lift shafts will be dismantled before the paving reinstated.

A new crossing is also being planned for the north bound lane and 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.