Nottingham suspension bridge re-opened to cyclists after 18 months
Long wait to cross the Trent finally over
Cyclists in Nottingham will once again be able to cross the River Trent following the re-opening of Wilford suspension bridge.
The bridge, which connects The Meadows and West Bridgford over the River Trent, has been closed since July 2008, after structural surveys revealed major work was needed to restore it to a safe standard for public use.
£1.9m has been spent repairing and refurbishing the 100-year-old bridge, which was due to be officially re-opened by Hugh McClintock, chairman of cycling group Pedals.
National Grid, whose gas pipeline is also carried by the bridge, and Nottingham City and Notts County councils, all contributed toward the repair costs and have will help pay for ongoing maintenance costs.
Earlier this week, the final touches were being put to the bridge works, including the removal of graffiti.
"We're pleased that at long last we can reopen the bridge," Fraser Pithie, senior operations manager at Severn Trent Water, told the Nottingham Evening Post.
"We appreciate that it has been a frustrating wait for people, particularly with the delays we encountered when it became clear the repair work was going to be even more comprehensive and costly than we had first envisaged.
"While the bridge isn't primarily intended for pedestrian use, we know it has become popular with the local community, and we're pleased to be able to once more offer the bridge as a crossing route for walkers and cyclists."
Mr McClintock led an online petition calling for the bridge to be reopened as soon as possible and said he was delighted people could now enjoy using it again.
"It is excellent news, after more than 18 months, to get the future of the bridge secured," he said.
"It is great to get past all the delays and ups and downs. The real problem is that it has not been looked after over the years.
"There were lots of problems that could have been nipped in the bud but they were left and the damage was far greater than they realised. And now hopefully that lesson has been learned."