Drivers are being warned that part of the inner ring road in Leicester will be closed off for long periods this weekend to allow the demolition of an ‘eyesore’ footbridge.
A section of the busy road will be subject to closures tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday to allow the demolition of the 19702 footbridge which spans Burleys Way opposite St Margaret’s Bus Station.
The bridge is being dismantled as part of the £10m Government-funded St Margaret’s Gateway scheme.
The ring road will be closed in both directions on Burleys Way from 9pm tomorrow until 9am on Saturday in order to carry out preparatory works and dismantle the main bridge span section over the clockwise carriageway.
The route will close again to all traffic from 6pm on Saturday until 8am on Sunday, to dismantle the main bridge span sections over the anticlockwise carriageway and bus station entrance, along with the concrete pillar on the central reserve of the carriageway.
The concrete steps at either end of the bridge will be demolished on Sunday morning, and the road is planned to reopen fully to traffic at 6pm on Sunday.
Demolition work will take place largely overnight. Diversions will be in place and clearly signposted during the closure times.
The bus station is also set for a major revamp as part of the scheme, which will also lead to new cycling and walking routes being set up.
The ageing concrete and metal footbridge has been described by Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby as “something of an eyesore and can’t be improved upon”.
He said the bridge was leaky and “badly in need of maintenance” and cannot be used by cyclists, people with pushchairs or people with mobility problems.
Leicester city mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Extensive redevelopment is planned to ensure the area around St Margaret’s Bus Station is brought up to modern standards, in terms of improving accessibility and building on regeneration already underway in the area.
“The footbridge over Burleys Way however is something of an eyesore and can’t be improved upon. For example, it is not possible to add ramps for people with wheelchairs, bicycles, mobility scooters or pushchairs to use it. The whole bridge is also in need of maintenance and quite extensive repairs.
“Removing the bridge will enable regeneration work around St Margaret’s Bus Station to continue, including creating a more accessible crossing point for pedestrians and cycles in due course.”
A survey carried out in 2019 revealed that about 1,000 people each day use the bridge, with the same number using the street-level road crossing nearby.
The work is expected to cost about £135,000 in total, and is funded by the Transforming Cities Fund award.