A giant 750 tonne crane made for spectacular viewing last weekend as work started to install the main bridge beams for the new road over the railway line at Thorpe Park Leeds.  Joint venture partners Scarborough International Properties and Legal & General Capital are delivering the Thorpe Park Leeds regeneration scheme.

The bridge forms part of the major infrastructure works currently underway at the 275-acre mixed use development.  It marks the start of the new Manston Lane Link Road, a key piece of infrastructure, which connects north and east Leeds to Junction 46 of the M1. This road, running through Thorpe Park Leeds, will unlock land for the construction of up to 7,000 new homes in the East Leeds area.

The Rail, Aviation & Environment Business Unit of construction company Galliford Try is delivering the £4.7m contract to build the single 30m clear span bridge over the Leeds to York railway line.  The design is future proofed to account for expansion of the line from two to four-track and electrification. The bridge over the railway line will accommodate a dual carriageway in both directions as well as footway, cycleway, bridleway and a central reserve.

Galliford Try has completed the sub structures and the next phase is now underway to install nine 30m long beams. A special movement order had to be arranged with Highways England, consulting local authorities and police along the route in order to bring in the beams that arrived on site overnight by police escort.

The massive 750 tonne crawler crane was installed on site in order to lift the 150 tonne bridge beams at 42m working radius.  A 200 tonne mobile crane was also needed to build the larger crane.  In total, it took six days to build the crane which was delivered to site on forty HGV delivery wagons.

Wes McKee, Galliford Try Rail Director said: “Construction is progressing well and getting the beams in place will represent a major milestone in the programme. We are delighted to be playing a key role in such a strategically important scheme that will bring long-term benefits to the region.”

The Manston Lane Link Road (MLLR) is a part of the £162 million, phase two development programme at Thorpe Park Leeds.  Joint venture partners Scarborough International Properties and Legal & General Capital are working with Leeds City Council to deliver the regionally significant infrastructure works which will improve transport connections and open up land in East Leeds for more housing.

Simon Marshall, Joint CEO at Scarborough International Properties said: “The bridge installation marks a very significant milestone in progress for phase two at Thorpe Park Leeds.  The scheme is integral to the economic growth potential of East Leeds and this part of the jigsaw not only provides greater access to the wonderful facilities on offer at Thorpe Park Leeds, but also greatly improves connectivity from Leeds city centre, through East Leeds and beyond.”

Rachel Dickie, Head of Urban Regeneration at Legal & General Capital, said: “This milestone marks important progress for the regeneration of this area, boosting economic growth and bringing new homes and jobs to East Leeds. By working closely with Leeds City Council we are delivering regionally significant infrastructure works which will improve transport connection and unlock the regeneration of East Leeds. This is a prime example of how a joined up and collaborative approach with local authorities can truly unlock regeneration to the best of its potential.”

Thorpe Park Leeds is already well established and home to over 60 businesses employing around 4,500 people.  Phase two provides 1.35 million sq ft of mixed use accommodation with a new 350,000 sq ft shopping and leisure destination and the first phase of 940,000 sq ft of offices. The development also includes 300 new homes by Redrow and a 113-acre public park with sports facilities.

The retail and leisure scheme is due for completion this Autumn with occupiers including Next, M&S Simply Food, Boots, Odeon and Pure Gym.  The first city centre specification, headquarters office building is already completed with 31,650 sq ft of accommodation under offer.

The award-winning development has dedicated access to Junction 46 of the M1 and has been chosen for the new railway station, ‘East Leeds Parkway’ and associated park and ride, connecting the Thorpe Park Leeds directly to Leeds city centre in just eight minutes. This forms part of a £270 million infrastructure investment into Leeds by the Department of Transport.