Search
Latest News

[Return to Previous ]

Victoria Viaduct closure

Published on 04 May 2018

Victoria Viaduct closure

A temporary closure of the carriageway and footpath on the Victoria Viaduct continues to be in place after contractors identified some areas of loose masonry on the former Central Plaza.

As a precautionary step the road and footpath have been closed in the interests of public safety until contractors can undertake further work.

We are continuing to work in partnership with Cumbria County Council’s highways team and specialist contractors to ensure the safety of the  building.

We would normally pursue the owner to deal with any danger but this is not possible in this instance, as it has no owner (it is currently in escheat but rests with the Crown Estate). Under the Building Act 1984 s78 Dangerous Buildings - Emergency Measures, we have a duty to ensure that the property does not cause an immediate danger to persons in and around the building. 

Our priority is to ensure the building is safe and all possible steps are being taken to find the quickest way to do this.

Please CLICK HERE to view Cumbria County Council's recommended traffic and pedestrian diversions. Contact the Cumbria Highways Hotline for further information on 0300 303 2992.

Friday, 4 May 2018:

We are in ongoing discussions with our contractor regarding the safest approach. The site is challenging and a range of considerations need to be taken into account including the loading requirements of the machinery needed during the necessary works. It is a very confined space within a highly complex site.

It is likely that cranes will be required to remove approximately seven tonnes of loose masonry on the front elevation at excess of 18 metres in height. This is a highly specialist method of working and although no definitive timeframe is in place, the closure of the footpath and carriageway on Victoria Viaduct (from its junction with Blackfriars Street to its junction with James Street) and Bush Brow is likely to last for weeks rather than days.

As some pedestrians have gained unauthorised access to the site, security has been increased and they are liaising with the Police to ensure the safety of the site.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018:

Preparatory onsite works continue on the former Central Plaza building. A specialist contractor is undertaking a radar survey of the Victoria Viaduct. This is required to ensure the road is safe to take the loading of two forty metre high cranes. The survey will establish what services and voids are under the road. As part of this work, additional highly specialised equipment will be on site tomorrow (Wednesday, 9 May). This was last used at works at Heathrow Airport.

The cranes will be used to remove the seven tonnes of loose masonry on the front elevation. The stone is at the top of the building at excess of 18 metres in height. The cranes are on standby and will be brought on to site subject to the completion of the radar survey and the go-ahead being given for safe access. Once on site, contractors will be instructed, if safe, to work 24 hours a day to complete the works.

The complex site is in a confined area and additional hoarding will also be installed.

We are continuing to work in partnership with Cumbria County Council’s highways team and specialist contractors to ensure the safety of the former Central Plaza building. Every effort is being made to accelerate the programme of works and in addition to the grounds surveys; support continues to be provided to local businesses affected by the closure of Victoria Viaduct.

Thursday, 10 May 2018:

As part of the preparatory onsite works, a ground radar survey has been completed of the Victoria Viaduct. The data is being processed and is being developed into a detailed map for the crane operator. The survey has established what services and voids are under the road and will ensure that the cranes are safely positioned on site.

The cranes will be used to remove the seven tonnes of loose masonry on the front elevation - one crane for the contractor’s staff to be positioned in and the other crane will be used to remove the stonework.

The stone is at the top of the building at excess of 18 metres in height. The cranes are on standby and will be brought on to site as soon as the data has been analysed. Once on site, contractors will be instructed, if safe, to work 24 hours a day to complete the works.

Additional hoarding will also be installed soon.

We are continuing to work in partnership with Cumbria County Council’s highways team and specialist contractors to ensure the safety of the former Central Plaza building. Support continues to be provided to local businesses affected by the closure of Victoria Viaduct.

We have a duty to ensure the building is safe and all possible steps are being taken to find the quickest way to do this.

Friday, 11 May 2018:

Work on the Victoria Viaduct site will continue over the weekend. A contractor will install an additional 80 metres of hoarding around the frontages of the Tesco and B&M buildings - adjacent to Victoria Viaduct. 

A detailed map has been developed for the crane operator based on the ground radar survey. The survey has established what services and voids are under the road and will ensure that the cranes are safely positioned on site.

The cranes will be used to remove the seven tonnes of loose masonry on the front elevation. The cranes are on standby and will be brought on to site as soon as it is safe to do so. Once on site, contractors will be instructed, if safe, to work 24 hours a day to complete the works.

We are continuing to work in partnership with Cumbria County Council’s highways team and specialist contractors to ensure the safety of the former Central Plaza building. Support continues to be provided to local businesses affected by the closure of Victoria Viaduct.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Work on the Victoria Viaduct site continued over the weekend with a contractor installing additional hoarding, initially around the B&M buildings.

Safe positions have been agreed for the siting of the cranes, these are on standby and will be on site as soon as the hoarding work is completed to all the buildings. The cranes will be used to remove the seven tonnes of loose masonry on the front elevation.

Contractors have been instructed to work all day to complete the works safely.

We are continuing to work in partnership with Cumbria County Council’s highways team and specialist contractors to ensure the safety of the former Central Plaza building. Support continues to be provided to local businesses affected by the closure of Victoria Viaduct.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

On site work continues. The additional hoarding and boarding up of windows adjacent and opposite the former Central Plaza building is nearing completion.

Two cranes will be on site by 5am on Monday 21 May. A schedule of works has been agreed with the crane operators - this complies with safe working practices. The cranes will be used to remove the seven tonnes of loose masonry on the front elevation.

Support continues to be provided to local businesses affected by the closure of Victoria Viaduct. This has included installing a covered walkway to allow access to Viaduct House, facilitating alternate business accommodation and storage space, providing meeting room space and free business advice from Cumbria Chamber of Commerce.

Friday, 18 May 2018

The hoarding work is on track to be completed with on-site work continuing over the weekend. The hoarding covers the buildings adjacent and opposite the former Central Plaza building.

Two cranes will arrive to the site at around 3am on Monday 21 May. Works will start at 5am. The cranes will be used to remove the seven tonnes of loose masonry on the front elevation.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Both cranes are now on site and are in position. As this is a very complex process, we have been working with Network Rail to ensure that the building works will not impact on the arches below the Viaduct. Additional checks have been undertaken and works will start when this process has been completed.

As the former Central Plaza building has no owner (it is currently in escheat but rests with the Crown Estate), the City Council is duty bound to ensure that the property does not cause an immediate danger to persons in and around the building. This is covered under the Building Act 1984 s78 Dangerous Buildings - Emergency Measures.

Although the former Central Plaza building is not in the City Council’s ownership, we appreciate the importance of the site and have been working hard to support potential development.

Over the last six months, we have been in discussions with a developer who has undertaken feasibility studies to find a viable way forward for the building. They have looked at how the building could be used with plans for a mixed use comprising of hotel rooms, small-serviced office space, a bar and bistro and meeting room provision.

This work has been privately financed by Inveniam. Inveniam, along with a professional team of high-quality contractors, are seeking to acquire the building and are in advanced talks to develop a robust business case that would meet the needs of the Crown Estate. We are continuing to support this team in doing so.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Following final safety checks, work is well underway to remove the stone work at the highest point of the building. Good progress is being made and work will continue until 9pm tonight. It will start again at 5am tomorrow morning.

We are continuing to work in partnership with Cumbria County Council’s highways team and specialist contractors to ensure the safety of the former Central Plaza building.
We have a duty to ensure the building is safe and all possible steps are being taken to find the quickest way to do this.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Good progress continues on site. Scaffold will be extended around the two lower windows to provide a safe working platform to remove the stone work. Brick layers will also level off the two gable chimneys in preparation to cap them off with concrete. Other planned work also includes preparations to remove the stone at the head of the windows on the two lower windows. The works will carry on until 9pm this evening and will start again at 5am tomorrow morning.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Access to the building today allowed for a further detailed inspection to be undertaken. This has identified additional issues which gives us serious concern and will result in more work than initially planned. To ensure the safety of those working on the site, works have ceased until a further specialist assessment is made. This will establish what further work is required and how this will be undertaken.

We have a duty to ensure the building is safe in addition to a duty to ensure the safety of those working on the site.

We are continuing to work in partnership with Cumbria County Council’s highways team and specialist contractors to ensure the safety of the former Central Plaza building.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Yesterday’s detailed inspection of the site found that the scale and impact of the works is far greater than anticipated. Works have been suspended and the cranes have left the site. The building remains in a critically dangerous condition and a specialist structural engineer has been appointed. They will inspect the building next week.

The structural engineer will establish what further work is required and how this will be undertaken.

We have a duty to ensure the building is safe, in addition to a duty to ensure the safety of those working on the site.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

A specialist structural engineer will inspect the building tomorrow. The building remains in a critically dangerous condition and expert advice is needed to establish what further work is required and how this will be undertaken.

The scale and impact of the works is far greater than anticipated and on-site work is suspended until we have a detailed assessment that sets out how to make the building safe.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018:

An inspection of the building by a specialist structural engineer took place today (Wednesday 30 May). He assessed the site and is compiling a report that sets out what further work is required and how this could be undertaken. It is expected to be received by Monday 4 June.

The initial findings confirmed that the building is in a critically dangerous condition. In addition to the seven tonnes of masonry initially identified, there is also the need to remove two additional chimneys plus there are concerns about the stability of the front of the roof. No stone work has fallen, but the detailed assessment is needed to set out how to make the building safe and to remove the immediate danger.

Monday, 4 June 2018:

The recommendations from a specialist structural engineer have been received and a revised scope of work issued to the contractors working on the site. They will put in place a construction plan and work will start again on site tomorrow (Tuesday).

The specialist structural engineer has confirmed that that the right processes have been followed and his recommendations include the following:

  • Removal of the seven tonnes of masonry on the front on the building.
  • Removal of two large chimneys to the front section of the either side of the mansard roof (north and south faces). 
  • Removal of mansard roof over the front section of the building and reduction of top level masonry, including the chimneys already mentioned, down to parapet level. 
  • Removal of chimneys to Backhouses Walk elevation as identified in the original scope of works.

The emergency works are required to make the building safe and to remove the imminent danger.

We are continuing to work in partnership with Cumbria County Council’s highways team and specialist contractors to ensure the safety of the former Central Plaza building.

As the former Central Plaza building has no owner (it is currently in escheat but rests with the Crown Estate), the City Council is duty bound to ensure that the property does not cause an immediate danger to persons in and around the building. This is covered under the Building Act 1984 s78 Dangerous Buildings - Emergency Measures. All possible steps are being taken to find the quickest way to do this.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018:

The construction plan for the next stage of works is now in place and cranes are scheduled to arrive on site early tomorrow (Thursday, 7 June).

The works will initially focus on the resumed removal of the loose masonry on the front of the building. Both cranes will be required due to the weight and size of the stone.

Once this is completed, the other emergency works required to make the building safe will start - removal of two large chimneys to the front section of the either side of the mansard roof (north and south faces) and then the removal of the mansard roof over the front section of the building and reduction of top level masonry, including the chimneys, down to parapet level. It is estimated that around 32 tonnes of stone and building material will be required to be removed (including the seven tonnes previously identified).

Two chutes will be installed on either side of the gable ends and will allow quicker removal of the lighter masonry. This method of working will allow one of the cranes to move off site and provide more flexibility on site.

The full series of works are likely to take several weeks although every attempt will be made to accelerate the programme as they get underway

Friday, 8 June 2018:

Work is progressing well and the majority of the seven tonnes of loose masonry has been removed from the front of the building. These works require both cranes to be on site due the weight and size of the stone.

Once all of this stonework has been removed, one of the cranes can leave the site and contractors will start on the next stage of emergency works.This will include the removal of two large chimneys to the front section of either side of the mansard roof (north and south faces) and the removal of the mansard roof over the front section of the building and reduction of top level masonry, including the chimneys, down to parapet level. In total 32 tonnes of stone and building material will be removed from the building.

Contractors will continue to work between 5am until 9pm each day (potentially working until 10pm, if safe to do so). Works will continue over the weekend. We are liaising closely with the contractors to ensure that the works are completed as quickly as possible.

Monday, 11 June 2018:

All loose masonry has now been removed from the front of the building. This has allowed for one of the cranes to leave the site.

Now that the imminent danger has been removed from the front of the building, plans are in place to reopen Bush Brow from 4pm today (Monday, 11 June). Once open, there will be vehicle and pedestrian access via English Damside. There will be no access from Bush Brow onto the Viaduct.

Work continued on the site over the weekend and in addition to the loose masonry, work has started on the left gable end of the building. This has been taken down to roof level. Work has also started on the removal of one of the chimneys.

It is now estimated that around 160 tonnes of stone and building material will be removed from the building.

Contractors will continue to work between 5am until 9pm each day (potentially working until 10pm, if safe to do so). We are liaising closely with the contractors to ensure that the works are completed as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018:

All works have now completed on the left gable end of the building. Approximately 50 tonnes of masonry has been removed from the building.

Works are now underway on the right gable end. Once this is completed, the final stage of works will be the removal of the mansard roof over the front section of the building.

Bush Brow reopened at 4pm on Monday and every effort is being made to ensure that the remaining works are completed as quickly as possible.

Friday, 15 June 2018:

Following the completion of works on the left-hand side gable end of the building, work is well underway on the right-hand side gable end.

More than 100 tonnes of masonry has now been removed from the building so far.

The final stage of works will include the removal of the mansard roof over the front section of the building. Additional improvement works will then be carried out to the existing scaffold and hoarding will be removed from the front of adjacent buildings.

Bush Brow reopened at 4pm on Monday (11 June) and every effort is being made to ensure that the remaining works are completed as quickly as possible.

Monday, 18 June 2018:

Works on both gable ends has been completed and work is underway on the removal of the mansard roof.

Some of the hoarding has also been removed and additional improvements to the scaffolding are underway. Every effort is being made to ensure that the remaining works are completed as quickly as possible.

The access tunnel leading to Viaduct House has now been removed and pedestrian access is now available to businesses based within this building.

Bush Brow continues to be open and provides access to businesses in this area.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018:

Works on both gable ends has been completed. Work is well underway on the removal of the mansard roof, with around 70% of the covering already removed.

The use of the crane is weather dependent and high winds have restricted work, however work continues on the building using the existing scaffolding.

Once the mansard has been removed work will continue to make improvements to the scaffolding and the hoardings on adjacent buildings will be removed.

Every effort is being made to ensure that the remaining works are completed as quickly as possible.

The access tunnel leading to Viaduct House has now been removed and pedestrian access is available to businesses based within this building.

Bush Brow continues to be open and provides access to businesses in this area.

As the former Central Plaza building has no owner (it is currently in escheat but rests with the Crown Estate), the City Council is duty bound to ensure that the property does not cause an immediate danger to persons in and around the building. This is covered under the Building Act 1984 s78 Dangerous Buildings - Emergency Measures.

Friday, 22 June 2018:

Work to remove the mansard roof and inner walls continues and should be completed by early next week. This will be last of the physical works.

Improvements are continuing to be made to the scaffolding. Hoardings are also scheduled to be removed this weekend.

Every effort is being made to ensure that the remaining works are completed as quickly as possible.

The access tunnel leading to Viaduct House has been removed and pedestrian access is available to businesses based within this building.

Bush Brow continues to be open and provides access to businesses in this area.

Monday, 25 June 2018:

Work has progressed well over the weekend and the majority of the hoarding has been removed from buildings adjacent to the Central Plaza. The mansard roof has been removed and the crane left the site on Sunday evening as it was no longer required.

Improvements are continuing to be made to the scaffolding, including netting and new boarding.

Every effort is being made to ensure that the remaining works are completed as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018:

All the hoardings have been removed from buildings adjacent to the Central Plaza and the improvements to the scaffolding will be completed tomorrow (Wednesday 27 June).

The contractors working on the site have confirmed that all the work that fronts both Victoria Viaduct and West Walls will be completed by 9pm on Wednesday 27 June. Cumbria County Council’s Highways team have been notified and will reopen both the Viaduct Road and West Walls soon after. The footpaths over the Viaduct and West Walls will also reopen, other than a section of footpath in front of the Central Plaza building. This will remain closed following a recommendation from the specialist structural engineer.

Work will continue on site within the confines of the scaffold for several more days but this should not impact on the highway or pedestrians. This will include bricking up windows and further work on one of the chimneys.

 

 

Comments (0)Number of views (4609)

Categories: News, Residents, Council, Business, Breaking news

Tags:

Print

More links

x

Search Archive

This A to Z of services list provides links to service pages alphabetically