The river Ouse will be put to work this week as deliveries of infrastructure and materials make their way to the Guildhall as part of the restoration works.
Barges will deliver all the steelwork for the construction and the precast concrete floor slabs that would be near impossible to deliver by road to the city centre location. The use of the river significantly reduces road deliveries into the heart of the city.
These initial deliveries will install the pontoons and begin the erection of the onsite tower crane, enabling regular deliveries to take place from the River. Shortly after, barges will then remove the demolition spoil to a waste re-processing facility in Goole, taking more skip lorries off the city’s road network.
The barges and pontoons carrying the materials replays the route taken by barges in the medieval period when the minster stone was brought to York by boat. They will travel between Queen’s Staith and Guildhall, arriving near the historic entrance to the city known as Common Hall Lane; the original wharf through which stone for the minster was delivered before travelling up Stonegate to the site of the city’s landmark.
The river Ouse was for centuries the main highway of trade for the city and this week residents will see it back in action to aid the restoration of the city’s Guildhall.
The £20 million redevelopment of the Guildhall will see a business club installed in the building. There are concerns that taxpayers will face an ongoing burden following the withdrawal of commercial backers.