Preparing for launch - Stakeholder's visit our River Avon bridge site in Bristol
Engineers (John Sisk and Son) are preparing to move into place a new £11 million bridge to provide access to Arena Island. The move, due to go ahead later this month, comes as the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone announced it had attracted 2,000 jobs since starting in 2012. The new £90 million 12,000-capacity Arena, which opens in 2017, will form part of the zone which stretches from the Paintworks to Castle Park. The zone, which it is hoped will create 17,000 jobs and 2.5 million square feet of employment space, is being touted as the largest regeneration project in the UK.
The new 63-metre-long, 18-metre-wide Arena Island Bridge has been funded by the Government's Homes and Communities Agency. It will connect the so-called island with Cattle Market Road, and eventually Temple Meads when the old sorting office is redeveloped and a new station back entrance is opened. James Wharton, parliamentary under secretary of state for communities and local government, joined city mayor George Ferguson to visit the structure on Thursday before it is moved into place.
“Bristol has already seen the benefit of this, with empty buildings transformed into many thriving firms and this bridge will help bring even more prosperity to the area. “It is a vital part of the development of the Bristol Arena which is giving the city its first world class entertainment venue,” Wharton said. Ferguson added: “Arena Island Bridge is the next milestone in the continued regeneration around Temple Meads, which will provide a rich mix of businesses, homes and leisure facilities, not least the long-awaited Bristol Arena with all its spin off benefits.”
The bridge will be completed mid-February 2016 with 3.5-metre-wide pedestrian and bike lanes on either side. District heating pipework will also be on the underside of Arena Island Bridge as the seventh section of an eight-point plan to lay a network of underground pipes and cables in the zone. This will supply both ultrafast broadband and green energy - connecting 100 Temple Street to the core areas of the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.
Until spring 2015, the HCA owned the former Diesel Depot Site now known as Arena Island. A grant of £5.425m from the Department of Communities and Local Government allowed the site to be transferred to Bristol City Council for the arena, as well as enabling the council to acquire the former sorting office.
Time Lapse of the progress so far can be found here (produced by Paul Appleby and Steve Flanagan)