CASTLE BRIDGE OPENS UP BRISTOL
The 91 metre Castle Bridge adds an entirely new dimension to the Finzels Reach project, providing easy access to the north of the Floating Harbour. It twists its way gracefully across the historic waterway, landing in Castle Park from where Cabot Circus and the MetroBus route are a short walk away.
Castle Bridge is one of the primary pedestrian routes set out by the City Council as part of their wider assessment of access to the city centre. It completes an attractive walkway from Temple Mead to Castle Park and the retail areas of Cabot Circus. It has also improved access to the popular ferry services on the north of the Floating Harbour for pedestrians coming from the south.
CASTLE BRIDGE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
The new s-shaped pedestrian and cycle bridge at Finzels Reach is now called Castle Bridge and opened to the public on Friday 7th April. The name was chosen by public vote and the bridge was officially opened and named by Gavin Bridge, director of developers Cubex, and local musician, Barry Walsh, one of the people who originally suggested the name.
“Castle Bridge sums up the history of the place perfectly. I remember my mother shopping on Castle Street, the city’s main shopping street, which was left as a wasteland after the Bristol Blitz during the Second World War, which later became Castle Park. When I decided to put forward a name for the new bridge, it was clear to me straight away it should be Castle Bridge – given it is in what would once have been the shadow of the castle for hundreds of years. It’s a beautiful bridge and a real honour to have been chosen to help name and open it.”
The opening of the bridge is a landmark for the development of the whole of the Finzels Reach. By 2019, there will be over 2500 people living or working at Finzels reach, compared to just eight when the brewery closed in the 1990s. You get a completely different perspective of Castle Park, the river and the old brewery buildings from the bridge – a very different experience as it meanders across the water.
Castle Bridge is destined to become a new landmark in Bristol, as it snakes its way gracefully across the historic waterway, the ferry landing stage in Castle Park has also seen a £30,000 upgrade as part of the work, which will improve access to the boats and increase ferry passenger numbers including the new commuter service.
THE BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION
Castle Bridge has been a challenging and unusual construction project. It has involved canal barges to float materials to the site and specialist divers to help survey and prepare for the underwater work.
Its unusually sinuous shape was designed to allow the minimum gradient on the bridge between either side of the Floating Harbour. Made from a series of unique curved steel sections, it is topped with timber decking, sculptured cladding and feature lighting.
The eye-catching structure will be a lasting legacy of the Finzels Reach development – a unique footbridge enjoyed by many users for years to come.