A cycling bridge in Bradford that will cross the busy Machester Road is in final testing before it opens to the public.
The bridge, which links greenway routes to the University and St Luke’s Hospital, as well as connecting East and West Bowling with Marshfields and Little Horton, replaces an old footbridge thanks to £50 million of funding from the Big Lottery Fund to provide new routes for walking and cycling.
Sustrans worked with the local council to bring the project to fruition, and an opening ceremony has been scheduled for Saturday, September 1, with an 11-year-old pupil from nearby Newby Primary School cutting the ribbon.
Local children will benefit from a safe route to the school.
New walking and cycling routes will connect to either side of the bridge and provide essential missing links between the existing living street areas by developing new, wider and more accessible walking and cycling routes.
"Linking both sides of the road which in the past has been very tough, the Manchester Road has been a great geographical boundary in terms of people doing things only on ones side - it's like opening up a bridge between the two communities," Charlie Burn, a Bradford resident told Sustrans.
Councillor Dave Green, Executive Member with responsibility for highways and transportation, said: "We are really looking forward to seeing the bridge lifted into place as the final piece in the jigsaw.
"It will be a great landmark as people enter the city centre, especially when it is lit up at night-time.”
Sustrans Regional Director for Yorkshire, David Hall, added: "Walking and cycling for everyday journeys is great for our health, the environment and is good fun as well.
"When it opens, the new bridge, and the fantastic new links from it, are going to provide a safe and attractive way for people to make their every day journeys in Bradford without having to rely on a car.”
Gavin Hulme, Contracts Manager for principle contractor, Eric Wright Civil Engineering, said: "The project has been both challenging and rewarding.
"The complex foundations and structural works were all completed using large plant and equipment in close proximity to Manchester Road, one of the busiest routes into Bradford city centre.
"Working together with the Council, we have managed to minimise the impact of these works on traffic flows and the local community. Currently the road works and footpath improvements are ongoing, with the delivery and installation of the main bridge being completed more than two months ahead of schedule."
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.