Work set to begin on Central Park pedestrian bridge
Work to install a new pedestrian and cycle bridge that will link the Central Park development with Darlington Railway station is set to get underway.
The bridge will connect Central Park from near to the Business Central building to Adelaide Street, which leads to the rear entrance of the station via the existing pedestrian bridge.
The project, which forms part of the Sustainable Access to Employment programme and is funded jointly by the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) and Darlington Borough Council, aims to open up safer access from the station to the growing business, education and housing developments on Central Park.
The first phase of the work is due to begin on Tuesday 28 August and will involve improvements to Adelaide Street, including traffic calming and new street lighting to create a safer route for pedestrians and cyclists.
The majority of the preparatory work for the installation of the bridge can be done from Adelaide Street and Central Park, without impacting on traffic on Parkgate.
The bridge structure, which has been designed to fit in with Parkgate’s industrial heritage, will be manufactured off-site and installed overnight on Monday 22 October, subject to weather conditions.
A road closure will be required to lift the bridge into place – this will be advertised closer to the time.
Councillor Nick Wallis, cabinet member for leisure and local environment, said: “The new bridge between Central Park and Darlington Station will provide a quick and safe route for the many pedestrians and cyclists in the wider area.
“Central Park is growing as an attractive place to live, work and learn. Providing good infrastructure and connections to the station are important for businesses, students and residents.
“The bridge is one of the first pieces of infrastructure that will support the redevelopment of the station and add to the attractiveness and success of Central Park.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We recognise all the benefits this new bridge will bring and that’s why we’ve pledged almost £1million to help make it a reality.
“Parkgate bridge will back our transformational vision for Darlington train station and provide a safer, easier entrance.
“It will also encourage closer ties with, and access to, Central Park, an area already home to the likes of the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre and the soon-to-be-completed National Horizons Centre. This site is key to the future of our emerging life sciences sector and ripe for future investment and growth.”
Talks are underway with LNER, which runs Darlington Station, to make improvements to the existing footbridge into the station as part of the scheme.