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Durham City footbridge to be demolished

Published February 05, 2024 10.09am

A Durham City footbridge has been earmarked for demolition after detailed investigations determined its structural defects are beyond repair.

Leazes Footbridge was closed last July after a routine inspection by our officers identified structural issues that required more detailed examination.

Since then, the bridge, which crosses the A690 and provides pedestrian access from Claypath to the city centre and the riverside, has been the subject of multiple surveys by a specialist contractor. These investigations have confirmed integral components, including the joints to the underside of the bridge, are failing and the structure is no longer safe to bear the weight of pedestrians.

Beyond repair

Unfortunately, the nature of the defects mean they cannot be repaired, and while there is no immediate risk of the footbridge collapsing, this could change if the bridge remains in position, exposed to the elements.

As a result, we have earmarked the bridge for demolition before the summer. The demolition will take approximately four weeks, with the central span removed overnight under a full road closure.

The signed diversion for pedestrians and cyclists will remain in place, and pedestrians are advised against crossing the A690 at any other location.

Plans are being progressed for the introduction of a pedestrian crossing at the existing traffic lights located at the top of Leazes Road at Gilesgate Roundabout.

Public safety

Paul Anderson, our strategic highways manager, said: "We understand Leazes Footbridge was well-used, and the decision to demolish the structure is not one that has been taken lightly. Following its closure last summer, experts have gained an in-depth understanding of the structural integrity of the footbridge and have confirmed the defects are irreparable.

"Public safety is our main priority and, as such, we are now making arrangements for the demolition of the footbridge. We will provide further information about the programme of works in due course, and I would like to thank the public for their ongoing patience."