There’s a striking new feature to the Rotherham skyline as a pedestrian bridge has been installed to connect the town centre to the Forge Island leisure development.
The design is inspired by Rotherham-born civil engineer, Sir Donald Bailey, who designed and developed the world-famous Bailey bridges that were used by the military in World War II.
More than 80 years after Bailey’s first bridges were erected, the new diamond truss bridge was installed at Forge Island on 16th June in a military precision operation watched by local residents from vantage points across the town centre.
The bridge, which was designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects, has been made in North Yorkshire by specialist steel fabricators, SH Structures. It has been given a modern feel, clad in red-brown perforated steel panelling to match the aesthetic of the Forge Island site.
The 46-metre-long bridge will become the key thoroughfare for pedestrians and cyclists, providing a vital connection from the town centre to Forge Island. The flagship leisure scheme, which is being delivered by nationwide placemaker, Muse, in partnership with Rotherham Council, will feature an eight-screen cinema, 69-bed hotel, and six restaurants that are set to open next year. The bridge will be illuminated at night to make a striking visual feature of its unique structural elements to enhance the experience of everyone who visits Forge Island.
Next jobs on the agenda include building a podium on site to elevate the scheme out of the floodplain of the River Don. Work will then begin to construct the buildings and new landscaped public spaces, including a stepped amphitheatre beside Rotherham Lock.
Plans have also recently been passed to transform an underused site into a new public park by the riverside, opposite Forge Island.
Riverside Gardens will offer residents and visitors a place to socialise and relax close to the new leisure development. Seating will be available with views of the river, plus a children’s play area.
Following on from the success of the nearby fish pass on Masbrough weir, the scheme will also support local wildlife by providing bat boxes and a tunnelled sand martin bird box along the river side.
For more information, visit www.newforgeisland.co.uk