April 30th 2020

It continues to be a challenging time as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic develops across the UK and impacts on every aspect of our lives.

As a Council, we remain committed to delivering our major projects, whilst ensuring we follow public health advice in relation to social distancing to help stem the spread of the virus and keep everybody involved safe.

The A52 Wyvern Transport Improvement Scheme is a key infrastructure project for our city, and a major part of the scheme is the replacement footbridge which will link the residential area of Chaddesden to the Wyvern and Pride Park area.

The bridge lift previously planned for the weekend of 18th April 2020 was postponed due to issues surrounding the development of safe systems of work in accordance with the COVID-19 pandemic legislation.

We have been working closely with our contractors, exploring alternative ways to be able to deliver the bridge lift without compromising the safety of those involved regarding social distancing.

The bridge lift is a hugely complex operation and involves specific tasks that inherently require the close working of two or more people. Alternative working practices have now been assessed, and we are pleased to announce that the bridge lift, subject to weather conditions, will now take place over the weekend of 30th-31st May. It will be lifted into place on one of the biggest cranes in the country. The crane itself will arrive on 12 lorries and will take five days to construct.

To enable local residents to watch this milestone as it happens, a live camera stream will be available for people to view both the crane build and the bridge installation on their PCs and tablets from the safety and comfort of their homes. Our social media channels will also provide regular updates.

To allow the lift to take place safely, a full road closure will be in place on the A52 between Pentagon Island and Raynesway junctions in both directions from 8.00pm on Friday 29th May until 6.00am on Monday 1st June.

It is anticipated that the new footbridge will be open to the public by late summer/early autumn 2020.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and Transportation said: “Whilst the council quite rightly focuses on its response to Covid-19, we haven’t lost sight of how important it is to move forward with this essential infrastructure project.

Together with our partners, we have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to find alternative ways of working to ensure social distancing for the workforce and we are now able to press ahead with the installation of the new footbridge.

This is a key milestone in this scheme. It will provide improved accessibility to and from the retail and business parks, enhancing walking and cycling facilities for all. We worked extremely hard to get the project back on track and since then the whole scheme has moved with significant pace and purpose. This will ensure the long-term benefits are delivered for the city, and I am particularly proud that this continues to be the case during such a difficult period of uncertainty.

This demonstrates the city’s huge resilience to find a way to continue to deliver this landmark and City gateway within such constraints. I would once again, like to thank local businesses, residents and motorists for their continued patience and cooperation.”