New footpath will link train station and Durham city centre as part of new restaurant and office development
A new route to help people on foot get between a city's railway station and its city centre is being pieced together.
Milburngate, on the banks of the River Wear in Durham has taken a step towards improving with the installation of a new suspended staircase, creating a direct route between the development, the riverside and the railway station.
Once the development is complete it will feature a public square with seating area, offering a new spot to take in the views across the city, including its cathedral and castle.
The complex will feature a Bar + Block Steakhouse and a 92-bed Premier Inn, a cinema, 600 car parking spaces and 153 luxury apartments.
Located in the north west corner of Milburngate – where the former HM Passport office once stood – and accessed from Framwellgate Peth, the steps sit on top of a raised steel frame installed following a three-month programme which included excavation, in-situ concrete structures and piles.
Installed over two days, around 80 tonnes of pre-cast concrete was positioned into place using a specialist mobile crane designed to operate in a confined space.
It manoeuvred the 14 individual pieces into place some 54 metre from the ground, negotiating obstacles including trees on the bank at the rear of Milburngate.
In coming months, the staircase will be completed with landscaping and illuminated handrails.
Allan Cook, managing director of Arlington Real Estate, which is developing Milburngate in a joint venture with Richardson, said: “This staircase has always been a fundamental part of the design of Milburngate, connecting the railway station to the heart of the city.
“We always envisioned a view of St. Nic’s Spire framed on each side by the development, which as you descend opens up stunning views of the cathedral and castle; standing at the top of the steps we can now see the first part of that vision coming to life.”
Paul Salkeld, project manager from main contractor Tolent, said: “This is another important milestone for the scheme as Milburngate continues to take shape.
"It was a challenge to complete the install in such a tight area, which included the treeline either side of the staircase location, but our groundworker, specialist lifting team, together with the Tolent project team, expertly handled the project and ensured a successful completion.”