Bridge will be a link for growth across the city
WITH Hull's economy still in a fragile state, public-funded infrastructure work is providing a platform for future private investment.
One of the most obvious examples is on the River Hull, where the foundations of the new £6.6m Hull Forward- funded pedestrian bridge are now firmly in place.
The first pre-cast sections of the bridge itself are due to start arriving in Hull next month.
After being assembled on site, the main sections are scheduled to be lifted into place in August, before the bridge opens for pedestrians and cyclists to cross in November.
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Spanning the river between Scale Lane in the Old Town and the new Premier Inn in Tower Street, it was originally meant to provide a key route to the Boom residential and office development on the East Bank.
But the ambitious £100m project was a victim of the recession and the site has subsequently been acquired by Yorkshire Forward for future potential development once the bridge is completed.
Graham Carr, technical director of Barnsley bridge project contractors Qualter Hall, said the construction was currently on schedule.
He said: "We are also working on the tidal barrier, so it's very handy to have this one so close."
The bridge has been designed to open like a giant flipper on a pinball machine, allowing pedestrians to ride on it while moving.
Qualter Hall's managing director George Orton said the design provided a real challenge during the manufacture of different sections.
He said: "It is certainly going to be a very different-looking bridge from those that already cross the river.
"From our point of view it has been an exciting project to work on."
Landscaping work on either side of the river is likely to be just as important once the bridge is in place.
Historic Scale Lane is being given a contemporary facelift, with new lighting, walkways, seating and a series of pocket parks.
On the East Bank, there will be a major landscaping scheme on what is currently a building site.
Tim Wriggleworth, senior development manager at Hull Forward, said the name of the bridge would probably be decided through a competition.
"We are still looking at how we are going to organise the naming competition, but finding the right name is very important," he said.