A NEW bridge providing a symbol of Great Grimsby’s past and a gateway to its future will be positioned across the River Freshney as the centrepiece of Garth Lane’s transformation.
The first images have been released of the structure across the river from Riverhead Square into the Garth Lane area and on to Fisherman’s Wharf. Following a detailed design review, planning permission is now being sought for the installation of the new bridge along with new 6.5m high lighting columns.
Designed for both cyclists and pedestrians the bridge has a five-metre-wide walkway, designed to support future developments north of the river. The 30-metre span structure is being manufactured and installed by acclaimed North Yorkshire specialist contractor SH Structures. Past projects include the praised International Bomber Command Spire overlooking Lincoln, and numerous bridges such as Bristol’s St Philips Footbridge, Taplow Footbridge, and the ongoing Princess Quay Footbridge in Hull.
Taking account of the views of scores of local people, the bridge seeks to reflect the area’s maritime heritage with a decorative feature representative of a dockside crane, or a structure found on a typical fishing vessel. The water is also a large part of the area’s future with the offshore renewables’ success born from the town port’s proximity to the sea-situated turbines.
This area, which also represents Grimsby’s founding, growth and success, leads through to Fisherman’s Wharf, Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre and over Corporation Bridge to the Kasbah area of the Dock – the latter two areas falling within the town’s Heritage Action Zone, (HAZ). The new bridge will provide a better gateway to and from the town centre as further development takes place.
Tim Burton of SH Structures explained the process by which the designers have tried to produce a finished product that met the client’s brief, aligned with public opinion, and was safe and durable. It also incorporates a space, depicted in the pictures with the ‘Explore Grimsby Heritage’ words, that can be used to display different artworks and designs.
“There was an aspiration to have something that had presence, that reflected in some way the town’s heritage but also its future. The ‘masts’ that rise up from the main structure symbolise the town’s great fishing past but also represent the way in which the water remains an integral part of its future,” said Tim.
“We wanted to provide something that strikes a chord locally, but which also allows people to feel safe as they cross – providing a gateway to what is being developed beyond,” he added.
Once in place the bridge will be complemented by a whole new look for the area as part of the overall £3.5m project. This is supported by £1.3m secured by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership from the Local Growth Fund as part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse, and The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government with funding released as a result of the Grimsby Town Deal. The overall work is being managed by North East Lincolnshire Council’s regeneration partner, ENGIE.
New paving, lighting, landscaping, tiered areas down to the water and seating – with fish-shaped benches upcycled from the felled willow tree – will complement the bridge.
As reported the existing footbridge and immediate area will be closed from today, Monday September 28, for six months to allow for this work, and the installation of new tiered structures down to the river and a new slipway.
This site sits next to the West Haven Maltings where the new OnSide Youth Zone is being developed and there are also plans, as part of the Grimsby Masterplan and the Future High Streets Fund, to win funding for a re-invigorated Riverhead Square and further whole-scale improvements in the Top Town area.