The anticipated removal of the Langwith-Alcuin bridge is to take place this Easter weekend, it has been revealed, in line with the plans to remove unsafe bridges across campus.
Demolition work will commence on the morning of Good Friday, 21st March, and is expected to be completed by the afternoon of Easter Monday, according to the Director of Facilities Management, Keith Lilley.
The work will result in the closure of University Road for the duration of the weekend, which would appear to explain the timing of the bridge’s removal, in an effort to minimise disruption.
The bridge, which provided a link to both Alcuin and the Library for students, has been closed since the beginning of this term due to structural concerns expressed in an inspection report.
Earlier in the term, the decision was taken not to replace the bridge as access to it did not comply with the Disability Discrimination Act, and to adapt it to such needs would be “prohibitively expensive” according to Lilley, especially following the refurbishment of the Derwent-Chemistry bridge last year. The possibility of providing steps on the Alcuin side of the road has previously been mooted, but appears to have been shelved.
A similar fate is set to befall the other closed campus bridge, between Goodricke and Vanbrugh, with plans already underway for demolition and replacement – as well as possible relocation, closer to Central Hall – although it is not yet clear if or when this will take place.
In the last issue, Nouse reported Brian Cantor’s public denial that the construction of the new Heslington East campus is having a detrimental impact on the original site. But it seems that financial restrictions are influencing the decisions of those in charge of university facilities, with the effect of undermining one of the core features of the original campus design.