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Step forward for Flatts footbridge

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Work on a new footbridge over Flatts Inlet has started, Friends of the Railway Trail said yesterday.

But Mike Murphy, a spokesman for the charity, added: “There's some scaffolding up there, but we are still in the initial stages.

“We have put in all of our applications and we have approval for the two phases of the plan.”

He said: We don't really have a time line. Our time line is one step at a time.”

The bridge is one project promoted by the Friends of the Railway Trail. Earlier work included two bridges over Bailey's Bay and Store Hill.

The group has also created a series of smaller bridges along the north shore of Hamilton Parish.

Mr Murphy said that the organisation was working on improvements in the West End of the island to keep the trail accessible.

He added: “We are working, dealing with the hillsides at the side of the trails, the embankments. We have done a couple of sections already and we hope to continue.

“This is all about reconnecting the trail. We want to connect the trail for people to use.

“It helps people to improve their health, it's something that benefits tourism. There are really a lot of benefits.”

The bridge over the inlet is the second phase of the project, which began with two smaller bridges — one across North Shore Road and another over a nearby driveway.

The first phase of the project was opened last November.

The bridge over Flatts Inlet would use the same pillars as the original railway line, although additional piers will be needed.

It will stretch 730ft and stand 22ft above the low-tide mark, similar clearance to Watford Bridge.

The planning documents said the bridge would be high enough to allow tour boats to pass under it and all but one of the boats moored in the inlet to clear it.

But the owner of the boat too large to use the bridge said she would move it to another mooring before work started.

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.”

Artist's rendition: the proposed future for Flatts Inlet
Future path: work at Railway Trail Flatts Inlet Bridge (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published April 04, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated April 04, 2019 at 8:14 am)

Step forward for Flatts footbridge

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