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Pedestrian bridge proposed for old railway piers

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The Parks Department is hoping to erect a pedestrian bridge over Bailey's Bay to restore a lost section of the railway trail.

According to a recent planning application, concrete piers that were erected to support the railway will be restored to hold the proposed bridge.

The piers were initially constructed in 1930 to support the primarily passenger railway system operated by the Bermuda Railroad Company.

The railway, nicknamed the “Rattle and Shake”, was decommissioned in 1948 and the rails were removed, but at Bailey's Bay nine piers with bridge plates were left in place.

The application proposes a new bridge which would run over the existing piers, allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to follow the path of the former railway without detouring to North Shore Road.

By linking two segments of the railway trial, the bridge would create an uninterrupted 3.2km stretch of off-road path with views of Pigeon Rocks and Bay Island.

The application also states that the bridge would not impact mariners as no sailing vessels with high masts would need to travel beneath it.

An evaluation of the piers carried out in April found that the piers are in fair condition, but the base plates at the site are corroding.

“If nothing is done to rehabilitate the piers, the damage caused by the corroding base plates will continue,” the documents stated. “The estimated lifespan of the piers tops is five to seven years. It should be noted that a storm event may shorten that lifespan significantly.”

The report recommended replacing the damaged pier tops, but that following remediation work the piers would be strong enough to support a light weight bridge structure.

Bermudian historian Dr Edward Harris said yesterday that he supports the project, saying anything that enhances the existing architecture would be “wonderful”.

Pedestrian bridge planned: The old railway pylons at Bailey's Bay
As it was: The Bermuda Railway in its heyday.
Pedestrian bridge planned: The old railway pylons at Bailey's Bay

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Published September 14, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 14, 2013 at 12:14 am)

Pedestrian bridge proposed for old railway piers

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