Delay in starting work on Hull's £11.5m footbridge

Artist impression of the footbridge Image copyright Highways England
Image caption The bridge is now expected to open in 2018

Work on a £11.5m footbridge across a major road in Hull will now not start until 2018, an MP has revealed.

The structure over the A63 at Castle Street was originally planned to be open in time for Hull hosting the UK City of Culture arts festival in 2017.

Now, Hull West and Hessle Labour MP Alan Johnson has said "an engineering problem" means construction has been delayed.

The bridge will connect the city centre with the Marina.

Speaking on BBC Radio Humberside, Mr Johnson said Highways England (HE), the agency behind the project, had contacted him two weeks ago to say that the scheduled opening date of Spring 2017 would be delayed until November.

"There is an engineering problem here," he said. "So we're faced with either having 11 months of the City of Culture with the disruption around that area and no bridge until November, or we delay it until 2018."

'Extremely disappointed'

In a statement, HE said the decision to reschedule the work was taken after "recent ground investigation work".

"This is due to a number of technical issues relating to the foundations of the bridge," said HE.

"More work is needed on the existing marina wall before engineers can start installing foundations for the bridge."

Hull City Labour councillor Martin Mancey, said the authority was discussing with HE about upgrading the existing crossings on Castle Street in time for 2017.

Mr Mancey said they were "extremely disappointed by this news" but he said HE had told him "they remain committed to the development of the footbridge, which we are hopeful will start in 2018."

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