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LIFT OFF FOR NORTH SHORE

THE small arch which will form part of Stockton’s new footbridge has been lifted into place this week.

Spanning the River Tees, the £15 million pedestrian bridge is the iconic landmark that will link Tees Valley Regeneration’s North Shore development with the thriving Teesdale area and Durham University’s Queen’s Campus.

A great feat of intricate engineering the lift represents a detailed build programme which remains on schedule for a late 2008 completion.

Tees Valley Regeneration’s chief executive Joe Docherty said; “This is an exciting and dramatic milestone for the footbridge and another firm signal of our commitment to providing a top quality scheme at North Shore.”

The small arch spans 60 metres and stands 16 metres high. It is made of four separate pieces of fabricated steel which are welded together on site and lifted into place by crane.

Joe continued; “We are now beginning the complex naming process for this stunning footbridge and we would welcome suggestions from the public. It is important to note that we are not launching a naming or voting competition, but all ideas submitted will be equally considered by the project team responsible for selecting a name.”

The small arch will be joined later this year by the footbridge’s large arch which is double in size and will be lifted into place later this summer courtesy of the UK’s tallest crane.

Once both arches are in place, construction work can begin on the footbridge decking and the landing points at either side.

Councillor Bob Cook, Stockton Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport said: "This is another fantastic addition to the town's network and will be a distinctive landmark which will grace the River Tees."

Steve Gawthorpe, Area Director for English Partnerships, the National Regeneration Agency said, “As well as linking English Partnerships’ strategic site at North Shore to the existing Teesdale development, the bridge will also create wider links to the sustainable transport network at Thornaby.

This innovative approach has helped unlock this brownfield site’s potential for sustainable development by our partners.”

One NorthEast’s Acting Director of Regeneration, Ed Rowley, added: "This is another significant step forward for the flagship North Shore development. The bridge will be a real focal point across the River Tees and a landmark for the area, and it’s great to see it taking shape.”

Balfour Beatty Regional Director Neil Barnes commented: "A huge effort has gone into the project so far and the fruits of our labour are now beginning to show.

“The arches represent a significant part of the jigsaw and give the bridge its unique identity. Now that the small arch is in place, our focus is on the construction of the large arch. This exciting structure is now really starting to take shape."

White Young Green project manager Peter Wood added: “This is a very exciting day for the whole project team, providing a significant milestone in the construction of this footbridge.

“It is hugely satisfying to see the bridge beginning to take shape.”

Balfour Beatty Regional Civil Engineering is leading the construction process. They appointed Darlington based Cleveland Bridge to work on the fabrication and erection and a second local company, Dorman Long are involved in the design of the temporary works.

The original design concept was by Expedition Engineering and Spence Associates.

Names for the footbridge can be suggested via www.teesvalleyregeneration.co.uk or by writing to North Shore footbridge, Cavendish House, Teesdale Business Park, Stockton on Tees, TS17 6QY.

All names must be submitted by 1st July 2008

Email: rachael.heath@coolbluebrand.com


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