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.

 

 

Comments (0)Number of views (1674)

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