Armley Gyratory: Giant crane removes historic 1970s footbridge from key Leeds junction
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Work is underway to remove the historic Spence Lane footbridge. The 50-year-old footbridge is the first of three set to be removed from the Armley Gyratory, with their replacements to include accessible ramps to accommodate people with disabilities.
Leeds City Council said that all the new upgraded footbridges have been designed to ensure they will need less maintenance work in the future. To allow for this work to be completed, commuters have been faced with a weekend of disruption. Future partial weekend closures are planned to complete the works.
Coun Helen Hayden said: “We’ve achieved a major milestone after completing resurfacing works on the Armley Gyratory, which already shows signs of accommodating more vehicles and improving traffic flow around the ring road. We’d like to thank everyone for their ongoing patience throughout the summer, whilst the road surfacing took place.
“The next phases of work represent transformative changes to the overhead footways for people walking and wheeling – making it easier to get across the gyratory, either going or away from the city centre. I look forward to seeing these new footway structures built and open by the summer next year.”
A four-span footbridge with the largest of the spans, stretching 22.6m and weighing around 50 tonnes. Spence Lane footbridge is being removed by one of the world’s most powerful all terrain cranes.
It comes as the first phase of the Armley Gyratory works have largely been completed, with some additional surfacing and lining to take place shortly on partial night-time closures. Already completed is the widening of the central gyratory and entry island approaches, which links to creating additional lane capacity.
Also constructed is the carriageway and pavement widening, 'vehicle restraint system' and underground drainage. The next phase of works will see new traffic signals installed, as well as street lighting and progress landscaping which includes new trees. For walkers and people in wheelchairs, there will be a diversion in place until spring 2024, while works take place on constructing the new bridges.