Market Gate Bridge construction begins on-site

On-site construction of the new landmark bridge for Barnsley Town Centre will begin this month following months of work building large sections of the bridge off-site.

Work has been progressing well off-site since February, with large steel sections already complete. Contractor Keltbray is now ready to begin work on-site in the town centre and from July 7 onwards will be working to create site compounds at both ends of the bridge in Market Gate Car Park and in front of the Interchange.

We ask shoppers, businesses, and all users of the town centre to bear with us through the construction period. The bridge is due to be fully complete in Summer 2023. There will be some disruption through the coming months, although the council and Keltbray will be working hard to keep this to a minimum.

The new bridge over the railway line will be a permanent replacement for the former Jumble Lane level crossing, which was closed to improve safety in the area. The bridge will be of high quality and a striking design, creating a landmark feature on Barnsley’s skyline.

It will be fully accessible with lifts at both ends. Cyclists will also be able to take their bikes into the lifts, or walk them up the steps using a dedicated cycle wheel groove built into the bridge.

The new bridge will also bring an end to the ongoing temporary road and footway closures on Barnsley FC home match days. These are currently required to keep everyone safe and will continue during the coming season until the new bridge is complete in Summer 2023.

The project has attracted external investment of almost £7m. Network Rail is contributing £2m, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority is contributing a further £4.8m via their Get Britain Building and Transforming Cities funds, with the rest funded by Barnsley Council as part of the wider Town Centre regeneration. The forecast £9.7m total cost allows for significant increases in steel and other material costs since the bridge was first designed. It also includes further public realm, landscaping and highway improvements at both ends of the bridge.

The early stages of the work will mean some trees and landscaping are removed. These will be replaced with new trees, shrubs and other planting once the bridge is complete.

Market Gate Car Park will remain open throughout most of the construction period except for some limited closures when heavy equipment like cranes and piling machines are needed on-site. However, the number of spaces in the car park will be reduced during the works, and a small number of spaces will be closed permanently as they fall in the path of the bridge. This was always the intention when the car park was created and there is capacity in the nearby Glass Works multi-story car park, accessed from the junction of Wesley Street and Lambra Road.

Cllr Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “We needed to close the old level crossing in the interests of safety, and I’m so excited to see this iconic landmark bridge added to the skyline of our fantastic town centre.

“It’s time to believe in the possibilities of Barnsley, to look to the future with excitement and optimism and anyone visiting our fantastic town centre only needs to look around to see that.

“Market Gate Bridge will be the first thing people see when arriving by bus or train, and I’m so pleased we’re going to have a bridge of the quality our town centre deserves. I’m sure easy access directly into our new Glass Works square will encourage even more people to access our vibrant town centre through active travel, whether on foot, by bike, wheelchair or scooter.”

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