Reading Thames bridge central mast erected

Design for the pedestrian cycle bridge in Caversham Image copyright Peter Brett Associates Artists
Image caption The bridge is being paid for through the council's Local Sustainable Transport Fund

A 37m mast, which will be at the centre of a new bridge across the River Thames, has been hoisted into place.

The £5.9m pedestrian and cycling bridge is being built across the river between Caversham and Reading.

The mast, made in Rotterdam, was transported to Christchurch Meadows overnight in a rolling roadblock, ready for the operation to install it.

Now the mast is secured, the remaining eight steel sections of the 394ft-long (120m) bridge can be installed.

Reading's planning and transport councillor Tony Page said: "The construction of what will be a landmark structure for Reading is entering its final phase.

"Once the key steel sections are in place, the focus will be on the finishing touches to the bridge before it opens to the public."

Design criticised

The bridge, due to open in the summer, is part of a £20.7m transport package, which also includes Reading's bike hire scheme and a new park and ride.

Plans for the bridge have met a mixed reaction from some people.

Reading Cycling Campaign, which welcomed the bridge but objects to the design, has called for segregated lanes for cyclists and pedestrians.

The group says the expected volume of use will cause cyclists and pedestrians to "come into conflict".

The bridge is being built east of Fry's Island, between the existing Caversham and Reading bridges.

Image copyright Reading council
Image caption The remaining eight steel sections of the 394ft-long (120m) bridge can now be installed
Image caption The mast was transported through Reading overnight in a rolling roadblock
Image caption The steel mast is 37m long (121ft) and about three metres wide

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