A footbridge which promises to alleviate the waiting times for pedestrians at the Brayford level crossing in Lincoln is back on the city’s planning agenda, with a number of further changes to the designs.
The bridge plan, which was originally hoped to have been completed by May 2014, has been reduced in size as part of a cost-cutting measure and resubmitted.
Work has been delayed with hopes for an August start date, which is subject to planning consent from the City of Lincoln Council.
Project applicants Network Rail, who are currently steering the project to build a footbridge over the High Street level crossing, say that the changes to the plans have been made to improve safety and reduce initial build and future maintenance costs.
As previously reported, the bridge was first approved in March 2013, with work expected to start that summer.
The scheme was delayed a number of times, due in part to the discovery of ‘unmapped utilities‘, putting the scheme around two years behind the original schedule.
Network Rail say they carried out a ‘value engineering exercise’ for nine days in October 2014 to try and identify any efficiencies in the programme.
Part of this included a pedestrian flow analysis, which had not been updated from statistics which were taken five year previous.
From this, a decision was made to reduce the width of the bridge deck from 4m at the widest point to 2.9m, and the width of the stairs from 2.9m to 2.4m – A reduction which is hoped to cut the cost of the bridge.
Lighter lift tower materials will be used so as to reduce the weight of the bridge, which again reduces the costs.
The pedestrian flow figures showed 500 pedestrians using the level crossing during 15 minute peak time windows.
Network Rail says the new bridge widths also factor in a 40% growth in future use, based on forecast growth figures provided by the University of Lincoln.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “The on-site start date for Brayford Wharf was spring 2015 but we have submitted revised plans so that we can find the right solution for this particular bridge, which pushed this date back.
“The amended plans are currently with the council planning team. The bridges represent significant, multi-million pound investments and we want to make sure the proposals and plans are correct before we start building the bridges.
“At High Street the work is progressing well and we are working to open the stepped bridge before Christmas, with the lifts to come into use in spring next year.”
The Brayford level crossing bridge designs have been remodelled a number of times since proposals made headlines in 2012: