CONSTRUCTION workers in Cornmarket Street in Oxford have now almost entirely demolished a former shopping block.

The work is part of a £36m Jesus College scheme to revamp Northgate House, providing new accommodation for shops and students.

Work in the city centre started earlier this year and the building at the junction of Market Street has been fenced off with panels revealing the college’s history.

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Now, for the first time in months, shoppers are able to see that the former shopping block has now been reduced to rubble.

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In July a Hitachi Zaxis 490 LCH excavator - nicknamed The Beast - was brought in to demolish Northgate House.

Oxford Mail:

Once the building on the corner of Market Street has gone a new building will be constructed, featuring retail units, with student accommodation above.

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In a new phase of work BAM Construction will bring in a 350-tonne Liebherr crane to prepare for the building of the new block.

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The crane is expected to arrive on site on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Jesus College said: “BAM require the use of a mobile crane in Cornmarket Street to install the plant and equipment required to commence piling operations.

Oxford Mail:

“This operation will take four days, which requires a temporary road closure to Cornmarket Street to allow the crane to lift the plant and equipment in o position within the existing basement.”

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According to Monday’s schedule, the crane will be brought in from 5am and it will take about six hours to install it.

Oxford Mail:

On Tuesday and Wednesday piling plant and equipment will be delivered, then on Thursday the crane will be dismantled and removed.

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The spokeswoman added: “Pedestrian access to Cornmarket Street will be maintained at all times.

Oxford Mail:

“All vehicle movements will be fully controlled and managed by traffic marshals and there will be minimal noise outside normal working hours – typical working hours will be from 5am to 5pm.”

Oxford Mail:

Hoardings for the scheme tell the story of the historic college, from the 16th century when it was founded by Queen Elizabeth I, to the present day.

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The project will finish in 2021 to coincide with the 450th anniversary of the college.