FOOTBALL fans are being reminded to plan for longer journeys to Boro home games as a new project gets under way.
Work has started on the new £10 million Middlehaven Dock Bridge – and the existing footbridge near Temenos is no longer open to pedestrians.
The 12-month project will see a new bridge and link road pave the way for work to start on the proposed £30 million snow centre next year.
The existing footbridge is due to be removed on Friday, August 11. It is estimated 2,000-3,000 fans use the bridge on a match day, having parked in or around the college car parks on Vulcan Street.
That will now be part of a lengthy construction site which will be fenced off from the general public. Vulcan Street east of the Transporter Bridge will be closed.
Fans are therefore being urged to leave extra time to get to games to allow for diversions to existing walkways which will be in place for Boro’s first home game against Sheffield United on Saturday, August 12 (kick-off 5.30pm).
Fans choosing to park around the Middlesbrough College area will be redirected around the dock, with wayfarer signs prominent to point the way.
There will be intermittent footpath closures and restrictions on the pavements lining Shepherdson Way – the flyover that starts near the Six Medals pub, Costa and KFC development.
During the construction works, there will be no turning point for traffic dropping people at the ground, or on Shepherdson Way itself.
That means no taxis will be allowed at the stadium in the hour leading to kick-off or for an hour after the end of the game and a change in the drop-off point for those needing disabled access – that will now be close to the Halyard car park.
Fans are encouraged to use town centre car parks and the Council has arranged for the Zetland, among others, to stay open later after games.
Middlesbrough Council will continue to work closely with Middlesbrough Football Club throughout the project to minimise disruption to fans.
Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for City Centre Strategy, said: “The new Dock Bridge is a major landmark for Middlehaven and will provide a boost for the town and the wider area.
“It’s the latest step in unlocking the area’s huge potential, but unfortunately projects on this scale bring with them an element of disruption.
“I’m grateful to fans for their patience and understanding, and we will do everything we can to keep any inconvenience to a minimum.
“I’d also urge them to keep up last season’s good work by parking responsibly, and keeping away from slip roads near the ground.”