Iconic station entrance over the River Aire
Leeds new station entrance comprises bridge decks over the River Aire, supporting lifts, escalators and stairs to provide a connection onto the existing station's western footbridge. It will be extended and widened to the south and west over platforms 15, 16 and 17 to meet the new entrance. Enclosed within a glass and gold effect roofing system, the whole of the new entrance will create an exciting and iconic landmark.
Contracted to provide the engineering, fabrication and erection for the Leeds Station Southern Entrance project, the William Hare Group is a world leader in the structural steel industry. The company has delivered projects in over 50 countries around the globe, including some of the world's most iconic structures.
The construction works will comprise establishing site compounds and offices at Wharf Approach; a crane will be situated on one side of the River Aire or the other, and a safe working platform provided over the River Aire. As the site of the new entrance is not readily accessible by road, the barge loading and unloading site at Water Lane, will help ensure that plant and materials can be transported to the main construction site via the Aire and Calder Navigation.
The modelling of the structure was very complex geometry, and close coordination with the architect and the engineer was essential as achieving the correct set-out of the steel was imperative. A point cloud survey was also used to establish the constraints of the existing site and included the arches, platforms, rail track and existing steel. By doing this, good clear insight was obtained as to what challenges would need to be addressed during the construction phase of the project.
Improved intelligence aids construction scheme development
One of the most challenging parts of the project was its location, being centred over the River Aire and locked on all sides by stations and existing structures. Every steel member needed to be barged into the site from the marshalling point on Water Lane. Some of the steel frame was located under the existing brick arches and inventive ways of both delivering and erecting the steel in to its final location was needed. This in conjunction with Network Rail possession works for the steel elements that are over the track, made planning and logistics key to the project. The use of the model made this task easier and improved the intelligence available at an early stage of the construction scheme's development.
The Leeds Station Southern Entrance project will bring benefits to the surrounding areas, especially to the south of Leeds city centre, as passengers will be able to access Leeds City Station more quickly and conveniently. The scheme is anticipated to bring wider benefits by opening up opportunities for employment sites in south Leeds, by providing an attractive and accessible gateway to Leeds City Station.