Bridge at Finzels Reach to create new route to shops for cyclists and pedestrians

Bristol’s newest bridge, linking Finzels Reach with Bristol Shopping Quarter via Castle Park, is due to open very soon.

The final piece of a new iconic S-shaped bridge connecting Castle Park with Finzels Reach, the new city quarter being created on a former brewery site between Counterslip and the docks in Bristol, has been craned into place.

In December 2016 the 91-metre curved steel bridge was transported by barge to Finzels Reach, the final stage in its journey from the steel manufacturers in Yorkshire, from where it was delivered by road in 20-ton sections before being temporarily stored at Cattle Market Wharf next to Temple Meads Station.

Further works are now taking place to stabilise and complete the bridge before it opens around the end of January.

The £2.7 million bridge is destined to become a striking new landmark for the city. Made from a series of unique curved steel sections topped with timber decking, it snakes its way gracefully across the historic waterway and accommodates the 7.5 metre height difference between the two banks.

The new thoroughfare will create a cycling and pedestrian route, completing an attractive walkway from Temple Meads to Castle Park and the retail areas of Bristol Shopping Quarter. It will help knit the Finzels Reach site back into the fabric of the city following more than 100 years when it was effectively closed off to the general public, used as a sugar refinery and later a brewery.

The ferry landing stage in Castle Park has also seen a £30,000 upgrade as part of the work, which will improve access to the boats and increase ferry passenger numbers.

Gavin Bridge, director of Cubex, the developers behind Finzels Reach, says:

“This new route is going to be a striking addition to Bristol’s landscape and will provide a much-needed link to the city centre for pedestrians and cyclists. It’s a really exciting milestone for the new Finzels Reach city quarter and one which will benefit Bristolians, local businesses and visitors to our city for many years to come.”

As part of the planning for the bridge, it was discovered that there is an established bat corridor along the Castle Park side of the Floating Harbour. As a result, a number of bat boxes will also be installed to encourage bats to roost along the corridor and great care has had to be taken to ensure any new lighting does not interfere with the bats’ flight path.

Following the bridge’s installation, final works and testing will be carried out to ensure it is ready to receive the thousands of people expected to cross it each week and developers Cubex expect the bridge to be open to the public at the end of January 2017.

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