Construction begins on-site of £9.7m town centre bridge

On-site construction of a landmark bridge for Barnsley town centre will begin this month, following months of work building large sections of the structure off-site.

Work has been progressing since February, with large steel sections already complete.

Contractor Keltbray is now ready to begin operations in the town centre and from July 7 onwards will be working to create site compounds at both ends of the bridge in Market Gate Car Park and in front of the Interchange.

The bridge is due to be fully complete in summer 2023.

The new bridge over the railway line will be a permanent replacement for the former Jumble Lane level crossing, which was closed to improve safety in the area.

It will be fully accessible with lifts at both ends. Cyclists will also be able to take their bikes into the lifts, or walk them up the steps using a dedicated cycle wheel groove.

The bridge will also bring an end to the ongoing temporary road and footway closures on Barnsley FC home match days.

The project has attracted external investment of almost £7m.

Network Rail is contributing £2m, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority is contributing a further £4.8m via its Get Britain Building and Transforming Cities funds, with the rest funded by Barnsley Council as part of the wider town centre regeneration.

The forecast £9.7m total cost allows for significant increases in steel and other material costs since the bridge was first designed.

It also includes further public realm, landscaping and highway improvements at both ends of the bridge.

Councillor Robert Frost, Barnsley Council’s cabinet spokesman for regeneration and culture, said: “We needed to close the old level crossing in the interests of safety, and I’m so excited to see this iconic bridge added to the skyline of our fantastic town centre.

“It’s time to believe in the possibilities of Barnsley, to look to the future with excitement and optimism and anyone visiting our fantastic town centre only needs to look around to see that.

“Market Gate Bridge will be the first thing people see when arriving by bus or train, and I’m so pleased we’re going to have a bridge of the quality our town centre deserves.

“I’m sure easy access directly into our new Glass Works square will encourage even more people to access our vibrant town centre through active travel, whether on foot, by bike, wheelchair or scooter.”