It’s not every day you see a new bridge on the move in Swansea. This one was moved into place over Oystermouth Road in the city centre from 10pm on Saturday night (6 March)
The painstaking event overnight saw the 150 metric tonne bridge lifted into place over the main road. The whole operation was streamed live online, to the delight of many in the city who tuned in to watch.
The work to ease the distinctive bridge into place was carried out by specialist contractors using two huge mobile transporter units.
Two large Liebherr cranes, one at each end of the bridge, lifted the structure – of around 150 metric tons – from the temporary steel supports which have formed its cradle during its on-site fabrication. The cranes each have 32m-long booms and are round 33m tall.
It was lowered on pneumatic jacks pre-installed on the abutments. Once the bridge was in place the jacks were altered to fine-tune the bridge position. The bridge was then fixed in place and the jacks removed.
A new landmark within the city, the bridge links the city centre with the new £135m arena and coastal park being built next to the LC and the marina.
The deck of the bridge – effectively two storeys above the road – leads on the level to the arena’s pedestrian entrance and to the parkland. On the other side – a broad shallow ramp leads from the bridge down towards the area between St Mary’s Church and Iceland.
The ramp will have homes, car parking and commercial units such as independent cafes on one side. On its other side – where the St David’s multi-storey now stands – there will be further development soon as part of the Copr Bay Phase Two.
The bridge may be in place, but it will be a number of months before the pedestrian and cyclist bridge will be ready for use by the public.
It’s expected to be ready for use in the second half of the year, ahead of the opening of the arena which is on schedule to be completed this year.