Work has started on a new pedestrian footbridge at City Hospital halt, south Belfast. The existing bridge and steel supports will be replaced with a single-span Warren truss-type girder structure with reinforced concrete piers.
So as not to inconvenience passengers, the existing footbridge will remain open to passengers whilst new bridge pier foundations and piers are constructed directly below. In January 2020, the existing bridge will then be demolished over a three-week period at the end of the works to enable the new bridge to be lifted into place.
The £400,000 project is being delivered on behalf of Northern Ireland’s transport operator Translink by Graham, a privately-owned company that specialises in the delivery of award-winning building, civil engineering, interior fit-out, facilities management and investment projects.
For this project, Graham came up with a novel design solution that includes an alternative mini-pile foundation, eliminating the need for deep excavations, reducing temporary works and ensuring safety throughout.
The programme will consist of both daytime and night works, to allow construction activities to proceed in close proximity to a live railway line and carriageway and reduce disruption to the travelling public.
Graham project manager Sam Barr said: “Throughout this scheme we will work in close collaboration with Translink to allow passengers access to and from the station and also to avoid disruption to any scheduled rail services.
“The adoption of our foundation solution will lessen impact on passengers, the City Hospital and Donegall Road residents, as well as reducing the overall duration of and cost of the works.
“Once complete, this new footbridge will benefit passengers and improve the overall appearance of the railway halt.”
Speaking for Translink, project manager Helen Halliday added: “This important project to replace the dated existing bridge is required to maintain high safety standards, as well as the safety of those who regularly use the bridge for commuting purposes.
“As one of the busiest stations the new bridge will greatly enhance the appearance of the station and help to keep the local area connected to the wider NI Translink network.”
Graham completed an earlier project for the Translink network in June 2019, when it handed over the new £5.6 million Portrush station ahead of schedule and in advance of the 148th Open golf tournament that took place in the town the following month.