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Bridge removal postponed - but arena project remains on track

The removal of Swansea's Oystermouth Road footbridge has been postponed from this weekend.


Forecasts predict that the weather could be unsuitable for the safe use of the 12-hour operation's 25m-tall cranes. Wind and rain is due to hit Swansea through late Saturday and early Sunday.

The postponement decision was made - on safety grounds - by Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, advised by Bond Demolition and crane operators Baldwins.

Buckingham - principal contractor on the £135m Swansea Central Phase One scheme which will see the bridge replaced by a broader, covered, internally lit bridge - are working with Swansea Council to identify a new date in the coming weeks.

The postponement will not affect the timescales for the delivery of the project. It is still due to open in the second half of next year.

Swansea Central Phase One includes a 3,500-capacity indoor arena, almost 1,000 new parking spaces plus new parkland, homes and commercial space. A hotel is also planned for the site.

Saturday's overnight road closure near the LC now no longer applies.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: "We don't want to leave anything to chance -especially safety - so it's right that this decision has been made.

"Due to the nature of the lift and the logistics of bringing such significant equipment to site the decision on weather conditions could not be made at the last minute.

"We plan to reschedule soon and will publicise the new lift date as soon as we have it."

The removal of the 40-year-old concrete footbridge will be a key moment in the development of Swansea Central Phase One.

The new bridge will carry thousands of visitors to the new arena and parkland and is designed to be a strong link between city and sea.

Detailed preparation work for moving the existing bridge has been taking place for several weeks. The aim is to begin work on the new structure straight after the demolition.  

Cllr Stewart said: "Swansea Central Phase One will stimulate the success of our city centre for generations to come. 

"The momentum is building as we deliver a transformational project for Swansea. Thousands of local residents and visitors share our excitement at the job opportunities and other benefits it will bring.

"Swansea Central Phase One, including the arena, is due to be complete in the second half of next year." 

With the temporary absence of a bridge, pedestrians are asked to cross the main road via nearby ground level lights-controlled crossings at the foot of Albert Row and princess Way.

Thousands regularly use the crossings safely and many more did so to access the recent Waterfront Winterland.

Swansea Council is funding and delivering Swansea Central Phase One, with some funding for the arena coming from the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal. Some funding for the new bridge comes from the Welsh Government's Active Travel Fund.



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