Excitement builds as Old Tram Bridge replacement work officially begins

Posted on - 16th May, 2024 - 3:14pm | Author - | Posted in - Avenham, Parks, Penwortham, Preston buildings & attractions, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston Locations, Preston News, South Ribble Locations, South Ribble News
At the Old Tram Bridge on 16 May
At the Old Tram Bridge on 16 May. Credit: Blog Preston

Work has officially begun on the replacement of Preston’s Old Tram Bridge.

Blog Preston attended as key stakeholders including councillors, engineers and architect John Bridge gathered at the site today (16 May). Millions of pounds of Levelling Up money will be used to finance the project.

Demolition work is due to begin in July, with the replacement bridge to be built in a factory and moved to the site in blocks. The presence of salmon in the River Ribble means work can only take place there between June and September so the new bridge is hoped to complete and in use by the end of next year.

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The 200-year-old structure has been closed since 2019 as a result of safety concerns but the Friends of Tram Bridge (FoTB) had lobbied for it to be saved. The group’s chairman Glenn Cookson today said: “It’s really positive to hear that soon this old bridge will be decommissioned and the new one will start to be built.

“The campaign lasted well over five years ago. It had lots of participation from people all over Preston as well as South Ribble.

“It’s a really important heritage asset to the people of Preston, it’s over 200 years old, but mainly the utility of the building is really important too.”

CGI of the replacement for the Old Tram Bridge
How the new bridge will look

Cllr Valerie Wise, of Preston City Council said she knew the importance of the site, having lived nearby and seen her children rollerblade and cycle across it. She said: “I think it’s going to be fantastic to have the bridge up and running again because I think it’s a really important asset for both South Ribble and particularly people living in Preston.

Mr Bridge said the final design had come after lots of collaboration and years of consideration. He added: “We’ve tried to create an attractive bridge that’s also very practical too, that’s energy efficient in terms of how it’s built but also how it spans the river.”

See videos in our thread on X about the work on the tram bridge

Work has already been done to ensure those working on the bridge can access the site.

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