New bridge officially opens in Flatts
Scores of people walked and cycled to Gibbet Island yesterday to celebrate the opening of the new Railway Trail bridge.
The trail is the result of work by the Friends of the Bermuda Railway Trail, numerous sponsors, workers and volunteers.
Tucker Murphy, president of FBRT, said during a brief ceremony: “You can't build bridges by yourself, it takes a huge team of people to do it.
“We hope that even more people will use the trail and use the bridges. I wanted to say thank you to all our workers and volunteers.”
FBRT has sponsored and worked towards the reconnection of isolated sections of the Railway Trail. To mark the opening, supporters made their way to the bridge from other spots along the Railway Trail.
The walk showcased some of the efforts undertaken through private investment.
Mr Murphy's father, Mike, chairman of FBRT, said the project would bring health benefits for locals and visitors and boost tourism.
He said: “When I came here in 1972, it was all tourism. People weren't as lazy or in as bad shape.
“The horrible thing that has happened with all the success here is they have gotten out of shape with modern diseases from not taking care of themselves.
“This is free and we are trying to get people out there.”
He said he hoped people would take good care of the trail.
“When you are walking be humble and bring a bag. Keep things clean.”
Kevin Dallas, chief executive of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said the project is making one of Bermuda's natural assets more accessible.
He said: “It is a fantastic example of what local involvement in our community can achieve.”
Health minister Kim Wilson urged everyone to invite at least one person to join them on the trail to help combat what she described as Bermuda's health crisis.
Ms Wilson said: “As we all know, in Bermuda today chronic diseases are crippling our health and damaging our economic recovery.”
“Sedentary lifestyles contribute to this plague of obesity, with two thirds of adults overweight or obese.
“Open spaces such as the Railway Trail provide one of Bermuda's most pristine public spaces for exercise and leisure.
“Thousands of people use them for our popular races; and for daily exercise as runners, dog walkers, cyclists and family leisure.
“We are grateful to the Friends of the Railway for their longstanding dedication to extend the railway trail connections.
“These new bridges, like the Bailey's Bay trail bridges, are adding even more life to this beautiful Bermuda asset. It is a wonderful development.
“The idea that we will soon be able to walk or cycle from Coney Island to Palmetto Road almost uninterrupted is a truly exciting prospect.”
The bridge was christened with rum because it was described as “the roof over North Shore Road”.