Friday, October 18, 2013

New R Soar bridge at Space Centre, Leicester - 2

New bridge in place 17 October 2013
updated 10 Jan 2014
updated 23 Jan 2014
New R Soar bridge near Space Centre   17.10.2013
Work is in hand to complete the supports for this bridge, which was lifted into place recently.  The approach paths will then be completed.  Work is now complete (Jan 2014), but the bridge remains closed:  available only for graffiti artists.  Bridge is now OPEN, 20 Jan 2014 - but still leads nowhere.  Let's await development on the 'Island'.
Still closed 10 Jan 2014

It looks a very standard construction - the artist's impression (see below) available at the time the idea became public was a bit less mundane.

Artist's impression from 2012
As it stands now, this is a bridge to nowhere.   The massive development site between Ross Way and Abbey Meadows on Wolsey Island (or whatever it is called this week) has been tidied a bit, but awaits any actual development.  The bridge will shortly be ready to serve as a cycle route serving this area, nonetheless.

The road called Abbey Meadows leading north from Abbey Park Road still peters out into wasteland at the eastern end of the new bridge, though it is passable on bikes/foot over Swans Nest bridge over the canal, and along the bizarre new elevated walkway leading through dereliction to an unpleasant cul-de-sac doubling as a tip, and then to Ross Way.  This stretch is frequented by drinkers and doubtful gatherings, so best avoided until the hoped-for developments clean up the place.

New bridge from Abbey Meadows 17.10.2013
I can't work out whether that walkway is unfinished, or even a permanent fixture.  It's not on the 'Abbey Meadows MasterPlan' - the new canal bridges are both to the south of it.  It looks temporary, being all wood and rather fragile, unfenced, so riding off the side could be easy, black surfaced and unlit.  Today (17 Oct) one section was broken at one point E of the canal bridge.  It's now broken at 2 points.  Just cyclable, with care.

Alternative, non-flooding route for NCN 6
This is a pity, because at least that route doesn't flood, as the present path of NCN 6 N of the Space Centre* has 3 times earlier this year, leaving a foul residue of mud and, worse, plastic waste in the grassed areas and hedges, which has only just cleared.  Perhaps, when the development starts, a diversion of NCN 6 over the new bridge could be contemplated.  It would pass N along Abbey Meadows to Swans Nest bridge, and along a re-salubriated version of the elevated walkway to Ross Way, via Mill Hill and Vicarage Lane to Belgrave House, and thence past the former church to rejoin the current route of NCN 6 at Thurcaston Road.

Well, one can dream . . .  

*10 Jan 2014:  NCN 6 under water there again.  However, the Environment Agency have started on the investigative work needed for the design basis of the flood prevention works between Abbey Park and Watermead Way.  They were working there today.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Milepost Reincarnation - 5 . . . . AND LAST!

A tale in several instalments, at last complete - 5

 'Tracks' in situ near King Lear Lake
courtesy Leicester County Council
Well, here is the Milepost on site and bolted down today - after a 2 1/2 year gestation.  Leicestershire County Council have installed it in Watermead Park North, where it can form another item of artwork along NCN 48.  (There is a Portrait Bench commemorating the Watermead Connect2 scheme half a mile nearer Leicester.)

Maybe that 'Green Route 1' sign can be removed now

Rear of base with security nuts

No surprises to report.  The Milepost is held down by 12mm Rawlbolts, with security nuts.  Presumably these will obviate then need for a further layer of concrete to conceal the holding-down fixtures.

Whew - level!

The arm has been properly fitted, using the witness marks described in part 2.  So the text in the centre of the arms is level, as intended.  The destination and distance text in the arms slopes of course, this being determined by the artistic design of the Milepost.

To quote David Dudgeon '. . a track for me to follow . .'
Thanks are due to James Lowe (Sustrans Area Manager), Richard Himan (Sustrans Volunteer), Renée van Baar (Sustrans Project Support Officer), and Samantha Ireson (Leicestershire County Council, Senior Access and Development Officer, Travel Choice & Access Team)