The Bradford Living Street Project was developed to provide new and attractive walking and cycling routes to connect the major communities of Marshfields and West Bowling with St Luke’s Hospital, the Learning Quarter, City Centre and local schools and shops.
One of the key aspects of the Living Street Project is the establishment of a suitable, convenient and safe route across Manchester Road. This innovative scheme has been designed by Bradford City Council is part of a national project being delivered by charity Sustrans that is delivering local walking and cycling routes right across the UK.
As the third busiest radial route within Bradford, the road experiences a traffic flow in excess of 37,000 vehicles on a typical weekday.
The existing bridge is nearly 40 years old and no longer meets the requirements for combined pedestrian/cyclist use. With steep 1:10 gradient access ramps on the southern approaches, steep steps to the north and a narrow width of 2.4m, the overall design of the bridge discourages popular use.
As an elevated section of the Living Street and a gateway feature for Manchester Road, the proposed walking and cycling bridge will offer a more gentle 1:20 approach from an area of green space adjacent to Newby School near the junction of Ryan Street with St. Stephens Road. The 3.7m wide bridge will then travel over Manchester Road to join with both Hutson Street and Roundhill Street via routes that will be constructed through a recent public park open space.
Over 350 tonnes of steel will be used for the construction of the Manchester Road bridge. The 210m long bridge will reach over 17 metres high and will have two main spans over Manchester Road of 24m and 22m respectively. It will be supported by almost 100 piles, which will be carefully engineered in order to avoid underground services and Bradford Beck.
Before works began in October 2011, extensive investigations were carried out on site to identify services within the ground. Numerous uncharted services were discovered, including underground watercourses, redundant gas pipes and tram lines. As a result of the investigations the design team were able to carefully engineer around these services, in the process saving both time and costs for the ongoing works.
Although the works will involve some disruption to vehicular traffic and pedestrians, the effects of the construction will be carefully managed. It is expected that there will be approximately seven weekend closures of Manchester Road throughout the construction period and some additional closures of the gateway. However, traffic will be directed to alternative diversionary routes during the periods of closure and temporary crossing facilities will be made available for pedestrians.
So far, all of the piling foundations for the new columns have been completed and the new bridge is on track to be erected later this year.
James Williams, Bradford City Council, said: “Works are progressing well so far and the project is both on programme and on budget.”
Transforming local travel across the UK
In December 2007, Sustrans was successful in winning a public vote for a £50m grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Living Landmarks: The Peoples Millions’ competition to support their nationwide project, which is bringing the National Cycle Network into the heart of local communities.
The project will enable millions of people to make everyday, local journeys by foot or bike through the extension of the National Cycle Network. Transforming everyday travel for local people in communities across the UK, the project will create new bridges and crossings to overcome busy roads, rivers and railways.
Bradford Living Street is part of the national project and Sustrans has been working closely with Trident and the Council. In addition to the creation of the new Manchester Road bridge, the Bradford Living Street project includes the conversion of some existing footways for pedestrians and cyclists, the creation of traffic free or traffic safe routes and upgrades to street lighting.