Newton Abbot gains a giant new landmark
A GIANT new mast is the most visible sign yet of a pedestrian and cycle bridge which is taking shape in Newton Abbot.
The project to build the £1.1million bridge over the River Teign, linking Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton, has reached a crucial phase with the mast of the Town Quay Bridge being lifted into place.
Youngsters from the nearby Magpies playgroup were among the onlookers watching as the mast was lifted.
The children had watched the construction teams drilling holes for the mast in the summer, and were invited back to see the huge structure going up.
There were even chocolate biscuits, courtesy of the building team.
Work on site has so far focused on preparation and ground work, with the north abutment, south pier and the mast base being constructed over the past month.
The steel mast, which had been delivered in four sections, has been welded together on the north bank of the site and it has now been lifted into position, standing 30 metres above the river.
The mast carries the weight of most of the bridge via cables, enabling a much greater span to be achieved.
The new 90-metre long steel cable-stay bridge is being developed by Devon County Council and charity Sustrans, as part of the charity’s work in developing new everyday walking and cycling links in communities across the UK, with funding from the Big Lottery.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “The scheme is now entering an important phase and people will be able to see the bridge taking shape over the next couple of months, starting with the mast being lifted into place.
"Following such a successful Summer of Cycling and Britain’s sporting success in The Tour de France, the Olympics, and Devon rider Jon Tiernan-Locke winning The Tour of Britain, cycling is continuing to enjoy a boom.
"This will be another impressive structure on Devon’s growing cycle network and hopefully it will encourage more people to cycle between Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton, while also forming a key link in our efforts to build a Trail along the Teign Estuary towards Teignmouth.”
Sustrans South West Director Adrian Roper said: “After a lot of hard work and preparation it is great to see such a visible development in connecting Kingsteignton and Newton Abbot happening.
"The bridge and links at both ends will provide a direct and really attractive route between the two places and we look forward to the grand opening.
"The bridge and paths delivered as part of the wider scheme are an enormous improvement and provide people with the opportunity to walk and cycle for everyday journeys, and I am sure that many people will do just that.”
The deck sections of the bridge will be lifted into place throughout October, and the bridge is expected to be completed and open to the public in early 2013.
The new bridge has been designed and project managed by Devon County Council following several years of negotiations, detailed investigations and design development.
The scheme is being carried out with the co-operation of landowners Network Rail, Newton Abbot Racecourse, Teignbridge District Council, Newton Abbot Town Council and the Crown Estate. The main contractor is Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd. Rowecord Engineering is carrying out the fabrication and erection of the bridge.