FURTHER north along the bypass close to the centre of Gloucester, the next stage of the city's redevelopment has been given the go-ahead by central Government. The £200 million Gloucester Quays scheme aims to transform the city with the creation of a massive mixed use development.
Central to the project is the delivery of the St Ann Way Bridge, which will form part of the Gloucester Inner Relief Road. So important is this bridge to Gloucester it was taken out of the planning application for the Quays project and dealt with under its own application.
'We felt it was vital the bridge should get permission and did not want to see it tied up with the rest of the development, ' says English Partnerships project manager, Greg Morgan.
That it has been granted planning permission is a relief for everyone involved, let alone Mr Morgan, who has an extremely tight production and delivery deadline outlined for the bridge. It is funded to the tune of £5 million from English Partnerships and a further £1 million from the South West Regional Development Agency.
'From initial concept to completion we have a three-year turnaround timetable mapped out, ' he says. 'We will be looking to tender for the bridge sometime in mid September with construction beginning by midNovember. It will be a fully designed traditional contract package because we want to be able to retain control over its design.'
The vision is for a landmark steel, aluminium and concrete bridge that opens from east to west with a 4.7 m clearance underneath it so that all but the tallest of ships can pass through without it having to be raised.