The Bridgewater Place junction is set to close again today – and it’ll be closed at rush hour tomorrow.
Storm Gareth will arrive in Leeds today with wind speeds of up to 54 miles an hour. And you know what that means – Bridgewater Place is set to close. The infamous wind tunnel strikes again. The good news is, it won’t affect your commute tonight. The junction will be closed to traffic from 9:30pm, but high-sided vehicles will be diverted from 6pm.
Ready for the bad news? It’ll still be closed tomorrow when you make your way into work. In fact, they’re not planning to reopen the Bridgewater Place junction until 12pm on Wednesday 13th March 2019 – and with good reason, as gale force winds are expected to pummel Leeds all the way through the morning and into the afternoon.
The city’s highest building hit the headlines in 2011 when high winds overturned a lorry, killing Dr Edward Slaney. Plans to rectify the wind tunnel created by the building have since been approved, but they’re not yet complete. 50-foot baffles have been installed on Water Lane to deflect the wind, but they still need to add vertical screens and a glass canopy. The £900,000 project is expected to be completed by the end of March, but that doesn’t help us now.
But while it may be annoying, it is necessary. The new wind defences have to go through rigorous testing before they can be put into action with high wind scenarios like this, and the council said as much in their update on Facebook.
The post read, “Due to forecasted winds, Bridgewater Place will be closed to high-sided vehicles from 6pm this evening, and a full closure will be in place from 9:30pm tonight until approximately noon tomorrow. This is to ensure safety in the area while the wind solutions are still going through an agreed period of testing.”
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