A 500-tonne crane took just 15 minutes to lift Grimsby’s Garth Lane footbridge skyward yesterday as it was taken out in preparation for the area’s transformation.
With the necessary checks complete, passers-by watched as the structure that led people over the River Freshney from Frederick Ward Way/Victoria Street South to Fishermen’s Wharf was removed.
It will now be put into safe storage for possible re-use by North East Lincolnshire Council as part of other plans for the wider central Grimsby area.
As reported, work to completely revitalise the Garth Lane area began in May, delayed from March due to lockdown, with a new five-metre-wide pedestrian bridge forming the centrepiece.
Being managed by ENGIE, the regeneration partner of North East Lincolnshire Council, the project is being supported by £1.3m secured by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership from the Local Growth Fund as part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse. Further support has come from The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government with funding released as a result of the Grimsby Town Deal.
New paving, lighting, landscaping, wildlife areas, tiered areas down to the water and seating – with fish-shaped benches upcycled from the felled willow tree – will complement the new bridge and are included in the overall £3.5m project.
Designed by specialist contractor SH Structures, responsible for the acclaimed International Bomber Command Spire, the new structure has a 30-metre span with decorative features representative of a dockside crane, or a structure found on a typical fishing vessel. There is also space for artwork to be displayed, which will be encouraged as part of a new cultural brand called Grimsby Creates – launched with the support of the Cultural Development Fund.
The bridge area and nearby footpaths are closed to the public for the next six months to allow the work to take place, with diversion signs directing people across Frederick Ward Way at its junction with Alexandra Road.
This site sits next to the West Haven Maltings where the new OnSide Youth Zone is being developed and there are also plans, as part of the Grimsby Masterplan and the Future High Streets Fund, to win funding for a re-invigorated Riverhead Square and further whole-scale improvements in the Top Town area.
Watching the lift take place, Cllr John Fenty, North East Lincolnshire Council’s Head of Regeneration, said: “The lifting of this bridge marks a real milestone in this project and signals the progress of our ambitions to reshape the urban area of central Grimsby.”