New River Hull bridge to swing into action ... six years later
SIX years after first being unveiled in a public exhibition, a new footbridge over the River Hull is finally nearing completion.
At times, some might have wondered whether the £6.6 million crossing would ever be completed.
But the finishing touches are now being applied and the bridge is expected to swing into action in September.
As the lengthy timescale suggests, a lot has happened since the design was first chosen from a shortlist of three back in 2006.
Receive 40% off RRP on a course of 12 ultrasound fat loss treatments with this voucher and experience the benefits of this revolutionary treatment at Sound Physique, Beverley clinic.
Terms: Strictly one voucher per person
Contact: 01482 861646
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
For a start, a £100 million residential, office and leisure development it was meant to be a part of never got off the ground.
Instead, the Boom project on the east bank of the river fell victim to the economic downturn, leaving just a multi-storey car park and a new Premier Inn hotel perched on top.
Then came a change of government and the abolition of regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, which had provided the funding for the project.
Delays caused by uncertainty over that funding and tweaks to the bridge's ambitious design, which required further additional planning consents, were further hiccups along the line.
Councillor Steven Bayes, the city council's portfolio holder for regeneration, said: "The bridge is something we have inherited rather than promoted ourselves as a council.
"It was very much Yorkshire Forward's idea and was always intended to be a link to the Boom. Now we are where we are.
"There are still a lot of development opportunities along the River Hull corridor but, while the recession continues, it's unlikely that we are going to see anything happening down there.
"The bridge will be a good way of getting to the hotel from the Old Town and it's another way of reaching The Deep.
"The positive thing is that, in infrastructure terms, it's there now and we will not need to build another one in the foreseeable future."
Councillor Bayes said talks were also continuing with the Homes and Communities Agency over the land once earmarked for the Boom development.
Landscaping work is being carried out on the east bank immediately next to the new bridge but the long-term future of the former Boom site stretching towards Myton Bridge remains uncertain.
The site was acquired by Yorkshire Forward and then transferred to the Homes and Communities Agency shortly before the development agency was abolished in April.
Some are lobbying for it to be used as a car park.