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Spectators disappointed as wind cancels Telford footbridge lift

By Aimee Jones | Telford | News | Published:

The final piece of the Telford footbridge jigsaw is still not in place after windy conditions saw last night's lift cancelled.

The giant crane ready to lift in Telford

Preparations to lift the piece into place did begin last night, but the operation was cancelled in the early hours due to the adverse weather conditions.

Once again people gathered near the railway station to see the 230ft LG1750 crane in action.

At one-and-a-half times as tall as the Telford Plaza One building, the crane is one of Europe's largest and has to be assembled on the road before it can be used for lifting.

But this time the spectators were left disappointed.

It had originally been hoped that the work on the £10 million bridge at Telford Central railway station would be completed by Sunday morning.

But Network Rail made the difficult decision to postpone the lift on Saturday night because of unpredictable wind speeds.

After initial safety tests were successfully completely, wind speeds began to reach the advised safety limits for lifting the 230-tonne bridge.

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The conditions were surveyed and the team reluctantly took the decision to postpone the lift until Sunday night, when the weather forecast is more favourable.

Dominic Proud, highways manager for Telford and Wrekin Council, said: "Unfortunately the situation became too risky and I am sure that people will appreciate that safety is our first priority and we rescheduled the lift.

"The wind speed was on the cusp of the safe limit and the gusts became stronger and more frequent as the evening progressed. We kept assessing the situation but conditions made it impossible."

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The old footbridge from Telford railway station to the town centre is being replaced by a new glass-sided bridge

Despite the conditions, residents gathered in the hope of seeing the final piece of the jigsaw installed.

The scheme has been so popular with keen engineers and interested residents that the council has set up a live stream on its website.

Mr Proud added: "Thanks to everyone who turned out to support the project, it was a chilly night so we were impressed with those residents ’enthusiasm who hung on to the last moment."

The bridge is costing £10 million

The first section was successfully installed in July and saw the crane lift the bridge into place over the railway tracks.

Once the bridge is in place, the team’s first priority will be to dismantle the crane to get the roads open as soon as possible.

The A442 Eastern Primary will be closed in both directions between Hollinswood Interchange and Wombridge until the project its complete.

Over the past week the council has been urging businesses to alter their working hours or allow employees to work from home because of the road closure.

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

News reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering North Shropshire, including Ellesmere, Whitchurch and Wem.

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