Approval given for Flatts footbridge
A footbridge over Flatts Inlet has won approval from planners.
The project, championed by the Friends of the Bermuda Railway Trail, is one of three designed to link long-separated sections of the historic former rail track.
The plan will include one bridge over the inlet, one over North Shore Road and a third over a private driveway.
A planning assessment said: “The bridges will allow for further connecting of the historic Bermuda Railway Trail to be achieved, which will benefit members of the public and visitors alike.
“It will enhance the existing experience for users of the trail and encourage further use while also allowing visitors another glimpse into the historic railway and beautiful vistas which would have been afforded to users of the railway at the time.”
The FBRT earlier worked to install new bridges at Store Hill and Bailey's Bay as well as providing a raft of upgrades to the trail across the island.
The planning application said the bridge over Flatts Inlet would use the same pillars as the original railway, although additional piers will be added.
The bridge would stretch 730ft and stand 22ft above the low-tide mark.
The planning documents said the bridge would be high enough to allow tour boats and all but one of the boats moored in the inlet to pass underneath.
The owner of the remaining boat said she would move the boat to another mooring before work started.
A second bridge section would stretch 220ft, and pass 16.5ft above North Shore Road.
The final section of bridge would cross 16ft over a nearby private driveway. All of the bridges will be designed to withstand hurricane conditions.
A public meeting about the proposal was held last May, and a computer-generated video was released online showing what the proposed bridge would look like.
The proposal attracted four objections, including one from the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce.
The environmental charity said: “The proposal encompasses numerous conservation or protection areas and as such we believe that it's essential that an environmental impact assessment be required to identify and avoid any as-yet unknown threats.”
The three other objections came from residents who voiced concerns about the visual impact of the bridge over the inlet.
The project also received a letter of support from another area resident.
The planning assessment says that all of the objectors received letters of response and were notified when the final plans were submitted, but no further comments were received.
UPDATE: this story has been ammended to clarify that the bridge will pass 16.5ft over North Shore Road, not 12ft as originally reported.