A UNIVERSITY business school is one giant step closer to completion now a bridge is out of the way.
A 220-tonne crane lifted and dismantled a bridge which connects Huddersfield University’s main Queensgate campus across the Huddersfield Narrow Canal to its Firth Street Building.
The bridge was removed to make way for a £17m extension to the university’s business school.
Albany Mill at Firth Street will be knocked down to allow the development.
About 90% of the two-storey 19th Century building will be recycled and used in the new structure while the bridge will be broken up to make hardcore for the new building’s foundations.
Albany Mill will be replaced by a four-storey building, which will be linked to the original Business School by a curved block. The expansion will add 4,000 sq metres to the school.
Work began on the new building in March. It is due to open in September 2010.
The operation to remove the bridge by contractors BAM Construction has taken months of preparation and has cost an estimated £40,000.
Phil Woodhead, site manager for BAM, said the Firth Street Building has to be fully accessible and operational while the work is carried out.
A scaffold walkway has been put up to allow access between campuses while temporary cables were laid to enable heating, electricity and internet access in the Firth Street Building.
Diamond drills were used to detach the old bridge from the connecting buildings.
Mr Woodhead said: “It took about 15 minutes to move the sections of the bridge but one-and-a-half hours to thread them to the crane.
“We spent a long time preparing for this and it went by the numbers.
“It went so well it’s as if we’d done it 10 times before.”