Engineers spent Christmas Day installing a 500-ton bridge at Newport Station.
Pontypool-based Pro Steel Engineering built the new pedestrian link between Devon Place and Queensway and its managing director said staff were working shifts throughout the day, delaying Christmas festivities to get the job done.
The new bridge spans all four platforms at Newport Station, providing pedestrians with an alternative to a subway that was only accessible by steps.
Network Rail said it took advantage of the closure of the railroad for Christmas to install the bridge, with a causeway passing in front of Newport station closing for several nights to allow construction of the new footbridge over the tracks.
The station side roadway on Queensway closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week, then remained closed from 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will reopen at 5 a.m. on Monday, December 27 after installation is complete.
It will close again from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Wednesday December 29 and Thursday December 30 to allow for the dismantling and removal of cranes and equipment.
Happy to report that today’s work is now complete… that the festivities begin now. Thank you everyone and merry Christmas everyone 🎅🎄 https://t.co/hdYKBqCv4T
– Professional steel engineering (@prosteeleng) December 25, 2021
Managing Director Richard Selby said: “To minimize disruption to the public, our staff need to delay their Christmas lunch for this to happen. It’s the kind of high-level work we’re proud to be associated with, especially since we’re based just five miles down the road.
With the two-day shutdown, Mr Selby said he was confident the job would be completed on time.
Network Rail, which is responsible for the track, said the bridge would improve the passenger experience.
In a statement, Network Rail said: “Together with the Newport Council, a brand new fully accessible walkway will be installed at Newport Station, making it easier for passengers to travel by connecting Devon Place and Queensway. This work will have no impact on rail services.
The bridge, which has been in planning since 2014, has been described by the Newport Council as a feat of engineering and logistics, and will make the passage safer and more accessible to wheelchair users, pedestrians with strollers and to cyclists.
Speaking to The Argus in March, Cllr Roger Jeavons, Newport City Council cabinet member for municipal services, said: the railway line.
“Many locals will remember the old footbridge, with its steep steps on either side, which was replaced by the metro in the 1970s. Subways were a popular way to improve walking routes in the 1970s. , but the new gateway will provide a safe and accessible alternative for the 21st century.
As part of the site preparation work, a steel sculpture by artist Harvey Hood is to be relocated.
Archform was commissioned by Network Rail in collaboration with the Welsh Arts Council.
Network Rail housed the sculpture in temporary storage until plans for a new permanent home could be finalized
“I am delighted that Network Rail is finding a new home for Harvey Hood’s sculpture. The railroad has played an important role in Newport since the 19th century and this work of art pays homage to the technical skills of the pioneers of the Victorian railroad.
Maura Nelson, Associate Sponsor of Network Rail, said: “This new gateway will be a major boost for Newport, providing a safer route that is much more welcoming for cyclists, pedestrians and wheelchair users.