Works should be complete by spring 2024. Credit: LCC

Leeds presses on with bridge replacements

The removal of the Geldard Road footbridge over the Armley Gyratory, the second of three accessibility-boosting replacement projects, will begin in the new year.

Geldard Road footbridge is a single-span footbridge with a 24.9m beam. It will be removed by one of the world’s most powerful all terrain cranes and self-propelled modular transporter vehicle, Leeds City Council said,

LCC is bidding for a local first by aiming to remove and replace an existing footbridge over a single weekend, between 12 and 15 January 2024. There will be partial road closures.

Built in the early 1970s, the footbridge along with the Spence Lane bridge will be replaced with a new footbridge to include accessible ramps. All the new upgraded footbridges are designed to ensure they will need less maintenance work and inspection over future decades.

For the Armley Gyratory footway for people walking or wheeling, there will be a diversion in place until spring 2024, while works take place on constructing the new bridges.

The work schedule and activity is weather-dependant which could change or delay work taking place.

The current phase two Armley structure programme:

  • Spence Bridge (2a) spring 2024 bridge construction completion.
  • Geldard Bridge (2a) spring 2024 – removal and construction over single-weekend.
  • Wellington Road Bridge (2b) removal and construction anticipated summer 2024
  • Previous removal of Spence Lane Bridge on 29 September 2023.

The Armley Gyratory highways phase one works are complete, as part of the improvements plan to increase capacity on the Leeds inner ring road and M621 and reduce city centre through-traffic, following the closure of City Square last year.

The bridge has been largely built offsite. Credit: LCC

Cllr Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, said: “The next phases of bridges work represent transformative changes to the overhead footways for people walking and wheeling – making it easier to get across the gyratory, either going or away from the city centre.

“The works are also a bridge engineering challenge, as well as programme challenge to carry out, with the least disruption as possible. I’m excited to see that we are looking to remove and replace Geldard bridge over one weekend, which would be an amazing achievement by the project team and contractors.”

“Please plan ahead for the weekend of 12 January 2024 and follow the road diversions in place. We thank everyone for their ongoing patience while we continue to work hard to minimise disruption and thank those who have already changed the way they travel into and around the city centre.

“I look forward to seeing these new footway structures built and open by the summer next year.”

Armley Gyratory Phase one

The Armley Gyratory highways phase one works are complete, with the widening of the central gyratory and entry island approaches, which links to creating additional lane capacity. Also constructed is the carriageway pavement/widening build-up, vehicle restraint system and underground drainage. There has been recent installation of new traffic signals, street lighting and progress on landscaping which includes planting new trees.

Further bridges information

A key objective of the Armley Gyratory scheme is to provide improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as enhancing accessibility, and replacing the existing footbridges over Geldard Road and Spence Lane.

The footbridges on Geldard Road and Spence Lane are both 50 years old and provide a narrow 1.8m wide footway. The Armley Gyratory scheme plans to enhance the experience and safety of pedestrians and cyclists through the replacement of the existing Geldard Road footbridge,

Spaces will be widened to between 3m and 4m under the project, with rest areas introduced.

The bridges comprise prefabricated components prepared off-site, lifted in and installed to limit impact on the key junction.

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