Walk this way! Ely's new bypass walkway officially opens to the public
PUBLISHED: 15:54 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:54 23 January 2019
An impressive new walkway next to the Ely Southern Bypass made of 252 tonnes of steel and capturing picturesque views across the city has officially opened.
Guests gathered at 2pm this afternoon (January 23) for a ribbon cutting ceremony and to take the first steps on the new walkway linking Fen Rivers Way and Ouse Valley Way footpaths.
It is made up of 252 tonnes of steel, 25 tonnes of sustainable wood and 380m of stainless steel bars.
It runs adjacent to the new bypass which opened to traffic at the end of last year and features impressive views of the Ely and the cathedral from the Fen.
Councillor Anna Bailey, who opened the walkway, said: “I have had the privilege of being involved in this project for a long time.
“This has been a very long fought for project of huge importance to local residents with great feedback received about the bypass so far.”
Despite the cold and windy weather, Mayor of Ely Mike Rouse was keen to be the first one to take in the views and try out the new build by contractors VolkerFitzpatrick.
The walkway also includes scenic stops for walkers to sit and reflect on benches.
Chairman of the economy and environment committee, Councillor Ian Bates, said: “I am delighted that the final piece of the jigsaw to Ely’s new bypass is complete and people can start to enjoy those nice New Year walks.
“Ely Southern Bypass opened to traffic in October and has been a huge success, solving long-standing traffic problems and reducing journey times for drivers. “The opening of the walkway will benefit many residents and visitors in Ely.
“The public can admire views of Ely Cathedral and the surrounding landscape from an exceptional structure that links existing public rights of way along the east and west flood bunds of the River Ouse.”
Ely Southern Bypass is a 1.7km single carriageway with a viaduct crossing the Great Ouse and a bridge over two railway lines. It connects the A142 at Angel Drove to Stuntney Causeway.
The underpass work, to improve access for pedestrians and cyclists, continues and will be finished by the end of February.
There has been a slight delay with this work due to issues with unexpected utility pipes under the road, drainage complications and the manufacture of the over-height vehicle detection signs, which until installed the underpass cannot safely open.