Flatts footbridge central span is laid
The central span of the new Railway Trail footbridge over Flatts Inlet was laid today - and the entire bridge should be completed for walkers by next spring.
The 152ft span was brought to Bermuda in sections last month and had to be put together before it was dropped into place by a barge crane today.
Tucker Murphy, a spokesman for Friends of the Railway Trail, said a team of construction workers, parks department staff and volunteers guided the span into place and secured it to already-installed pylons.
The bridge, expected to cost between $400,000 and $500,000, is being manufactured in Pennsylvania.
The remaining seven sections will be delivered for installation in the early part of next year.
Dr Murphy warned members of the public should not use the bridge until it was completed.
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 in November 2018.
The bridge over Flatts Inlet used the same pillars as the original railway line, although additional piers had to be added to the pylons.
The Bermuda Railway closed in 1948 and the bridge was dismantled sooner after.
It will stretch 730ft and stands 22ft above the low-tide mark - a similar clearance to Watford Bridge.
Dr Murphy said the span was the longest ever fabricated by Pennsylvania company ET Tectonics and weighs 32 tonnes.
It was assembled in the US and subjected to a load test which showed it could carry a weight of 110,000 pounds before it was dismantled and shipped to Bermuda.
It is also designed to withstand winds of 155mph.
Dr Murphy said volunteers will spend the rest of the week securing the deck of the footbridge.
He paid tribute to the parks department staff, construction workers and volunteers who contributed hours of technical expertise and labour to the project.