A important new link road in North Yorkshire took a massive step towards completion when the central span of the railway crossing bridge was lowered into place.
Contractors, Eric Wright Civil Engineering, worked through the night to put the steel work into place – with the western section completed the following day.
The road – in Northallerton, which is due to open early next year – is part of the North Northallerton development which also includes 900 homes, employment land, a neighbourhood shopping centre, extra care facilities, a primary school and community uses, including sports pitches, a village green and allotments.
It will provide a strategic link between the A167 Darlington Road and A684 Stokesley Road with the bridge crossing the Northallerton to Middlesbrough railway line, reports the Business Desk.
It will add capacity to the local highways network, providing an alternative route avoiding the Low Gates level crossing.
The scheme has brought together a consortium of developers and funders. As well as housebuilders Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey, they include Hambleton District Council, North Yorkshire County Council, and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership – which has provided a £6m grant from the Local Growth Fund to match fund construction of the road and bridge to unlock the development.
Greg Brett, senior project manager at Eric Wright Civil Engineering, said: “The installation had been carefully planned for over 12 months. It presented a specific technical challenge, not least due to its proximity to the live railway and dependency on wind speeds not exceeding 12mph.
“Bridge beams 110 metres long and weighing 350 tons were successfully lifted into place with the 1,000 ton crane. Now all beams have been successfully placed we are looking forward to completing the full bridge construction.”
Councillor Mark Robson, leader of Hambleton District Council, said: “The bridge going into place is a massive step forward for this scheme. The North Northallerton Link Road is a key piece of infrastructure that has enabled housing demand and employment growth in the town to be delivered.
“The bridge will add vital capacity to the road network to ensure this is achieved without the development causing traffic issues in the town.”
David Dickson, chair of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership Infrastructure and Joint Assets Board, added: “This is a vital project for Northallerton which scale investments in the town allocated by York & North Yorkshire LEP from the Government’s Local Growth Fund.
“A total of £6m is supporting the North Northallerton infrastructure work, adding to £3.2m towards highways and footpath schemes for Central Northallerton and £1.8m for Northallerton’s digital hub. We’re pleased to see this latest milestone reached.”
North Yorkshire county councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for access, said: “All of the bridge deck beams are now in place and the deck construction has started. We have worked very closely with the developers to deliver this key road link for the town.”