Routes: Cardiff 'People's Bridge' Takes Shape


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Cardiff 'People's Bridge' Craned Into Place

Posted: 24th March 2010 | Source: Sustrans

Cardiff's riverscape will be dramatically changed this week as the Pont y Werin - a new walking and cycling bridge over the River Ely - is completed with the entire four sections of the bridge being lifted into position from 24th to 31st March.

The four spans of Pont y Werin will each weigh between 38 and 46 tonnes and media are invited to attend the lifting on Thursday 25th March.

To lift the bridge sections, the largest mobile crane in the United Kingdom weighing in at 1,200 tonnes will be used. The crane, which will take three days to install, will lift three out of four parts of the bridge into place from the Cardiff bank of the river Ely with the final section lifted on March 31st from the Penarth bank.

Pont y Werin will officially open to the public on June 8th and will provide a vital link to enable pedestrians and cyclists to cross between Penarth and the International Sports Village at Cardiff Bay.

The design incorporates a 20 metre opening section to allow river traffic to pass. The bridge will also provide the final link completing the Bay Edge Walkway and cycle route and connect it into the Vale of Glamorgan.

Funding from the new bridge has come from the Welsh Assembly Government, £1.645m, Cardiff Council, £1.3m, sustainable transport charity Sustrans £1.15m, Cardiff Harbour Authority £250k and £200k from The Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Sustrans have helped fund this new route for Cardiff, including the Pont y Werin, using part of a £50m award they received from the Big Lottery Fund in 2007 after winning a national TV vote in ITV1. Sustrans is creating new walking and cycling routes across the UK to connect communities and help people make more local, everyday journeys by foot or by bike.

Lee Waters, Director of Sustrans Cymru, said:

"Pont y Werin will truly be a people's bridge. By completing a circuit around the Bay this new bridge will be a superb new local facility for everyday travel in the city as well as a national landmark. Voted for by the public and named by local children, the bascule bridge for will not only open for boats, but it will open the way for people to get from Cardiff Bay to Penarth and beyond in more sustainable ways. "

Cardiff Council's Executive Member for Transport and Transportation, Cllr Delme Bowen, said:

"Pont y Werin is a fantastic project and as chairman of the Pont y Werin steering group I have been fortunate to see all the pieces of the project coming together. The bridge will make a huge difference to the cyclists and pedestrians who commute between Cardiff and Penarth and I know they are looking forward to using the bridge. It' will be very satisfying to see the bridge being put into place and it will mark the start of the countdown to the bridge opening on June 8th."

Cllr Jeff James, cabinet member for planning and transportation, said:

"The Vale Council is thrilled to see the final pieces of Pont y Werin coming together in what is a pivotal moment for the project. When open the bridge will provide a valuable link for residents of both Cardiff and the Vale and is an excellent example of organisations working together for the benefit of the local communities."