Work to install a massive pedestrian footbridge over Newport Railway Station has taken place over the festive period.

Taking advantage of a pause in the train timetables over Christmas Day and Boxing Day, engineers have been on site at the city centre station, to lift the 500-tonne structure in place.

While work is continuing to get the bridge fit and ready for use by members of the public, pictures taken from the surrounding area show the scale of the work completed to date.

Pontypool based Pro Steel Engineering, who constructed the bridge, have taken to social media, showing the work in progress yesterday (December 25).

The Network Rail led project has seen construction workers operating in shifts, over Christmas, in a bid to get the project completed in time for train services to resume from Monday.

Once complete, the brand new bridge will signal the end of the lifespan of the existing underpass, which serves as a pedestrian route from the north side of Newport to the south – as this is set for permanent closure following the completion of these works.

How did we get here?

Work to build a footbridge over Newport Railway Station has been a long time coming, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it was established that a new and improved link between Devon Place and Queensway was much needed, as two major sections of the city require a fairly lengthy diversion to access, with Bridge Street the primary overground access point.

There is the existing subway, though this has been plagued with anti-social behaviour concerns in recent years.

South Wales Argus: Crews worked through Christmas Day (Credit: Pro Steel Engineering)Crews worked through Christmas Day (Credit: Pro Steel Engineering)

What’s more, the subway is only accessed by steps, and is not wheelchair accessible.

With these concerns in mind, plans to install a footbridge were first brought up in 2014, with planning permission granted by Newport City Council in March 2020.

These plans, which form part of a £4 million investment from the Welsh Government, were later amended to add an extended ramp for improved accessibility.

What has been said about the work?

Pro Steel Engineering managing director Richard Selby said: "To minimise disruption to the public, our staff are having to delay their Christmas lunch to make this happen.

“It is the sort of high-profile job that we are proud to be associated with, even more so because we are based only five miles up the road."

Meanwhile, a Network Rail spokesman said: “Working with Newport Council, a brand-new, fully accessible footbridge will be installed at Newport Railway Station, making travelling easier for passengers by linking Devon Place and Queensway. This work will not impact train services.”

It is not currently known when the existing subway will be closed, though it is currently boarded up.