Full pedestrian access to a popular independent shopping street in Bury St Edmunds has re-opened.
Pedestrians are now able to walk the length of the Traverse for the first time since fire gutted Cupola House, the Grade I listed landmark building in the middle of the attractive street, on Saturday 16 June. Engineers carefully stabilising the ruins have worked round the clock behind fencing that effectively blocked access from Cornhill and created cul de sacs at each end. The 80 tonne mobile crane used to lift material out of the five storey building left the site last night, and the fencing was immediately reconfigured to hug the semi permanent scaffolding that will support the façade during the rebuild.
The move will be of immediate benefit to the many independent shop owners in the handsome pedestrianised area in the centre of town, and comes on one of the busiest days of the week, with Wednesday market visitors numbers being swelled by tourists.
Once engineers have dealt with the immediate aftermath of the fire, a roof will be put over the remains of the building to protect it while plans are agreed for its reinstatement.
Cllr Robert Everitt, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Cabinet member for Bury St Edmunds said
"Restoring footfall and returning customers to this lovely street has been the centre of everyone's efforts and the engineers must be congratulated for tackling this challenging project with great professionalism and care for neighbours. It has been a very stressful time for the retailers and residents and I believe we are now turning a corner. I know the whole town is behind the reinstatement of Cupola House, and restoring the vibrancy of the attractive shopping street."