Wednesday, March 29, 2023

News: Bailey bridge for Forge Island


The team delivering the flagship Forge Island development in Rotherham got a first look at progress of the manufacturing of a new pedestrian bridge earlier this month.

The bridge will offer a vital connection from the town centre to the new family-friendly leisure destination – as well as link to the town’s incredible engineering heritage.

The 46m metre-long bridge is currently being constructed in North Yorkshire before being installed on site in June and will become a key element of the new landmark place which is being delivered by nationwide placemaker, Muse, in partnership with Rotherham Council.

The previous "Tesco bridge" was removed last year.

The design takes inspiration from the world-famous Bailey Bridge; a portable, steel truss bridge designed and developed by Rotherham-born civil engineer, Donald Bailey, which was used by the military throughout Europe during the Second World War.

The Bailey Bridge was a feat of engineering; lightweight and simple to erect without the use of tools, but also strong enough to withstand huge weights including military vehicles. It has secured a place in history as one of the most important engineering and technological advances of WWII – playing a major role in helping Allied Forces to victory. Bailey Bridges have continued to be used extensively in civil engineering construction projects across the world, often to provide temporary crossings for pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Read more about Bailey in this Rothbiz article on the bridge's 75th anninersary in 2017.

The new bridge offers a contemporary take on the original design to create a permanent structure for the town. It was designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects and is being fabricated and manufactured by SH Structures, specialists in the design and manufacture of complex steel structures.

The diamond truss steel design that is synonymous with Bailey Bridges will be clad with red/brown perforated steel panelling that tonally matches the colour of planned Forge Island buildings and celebrates history of the area, which originated as a steel forge in the 19th century. It will also be illuminated at night to make a stunning visual feature of the unique structural elements of the Bailey Bridge.

The bridge will provide pedestrians and cyclists with an eye-catching crossing from the town centre to the new landmark destination which will feature a mix of independent eateries alongside boutique cinema operator, The Arc and national hotel chain, Travelodge, all set within attractive new public realm.

Andrew Fairest, Project Director at Muse, said: “It’s fantastic to see the bridge taking shape and see how a contemporary take on the pioneering Bailey Bridge design will create something quite special at Forge Island.

“For Muse, the history of a place is an instrumental part of its story – and informs how we go about creating its next chapter. The bridge not only provides a physical link to what will be a much-needed family-friendly offer for Rotherham, but a metaphorical one to the incredible industrial heritage of this town. We’re excited to be making Forge Island a major part of Rotherham’s story once again.”

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and Economy, Cllr Denise Lelliott, said: “The bridge, which will link the heart of the town centre to the heart of the industrial past, will also pay tribute to the world-changing creativity and craft our residents have been a part of in the past – and the innovation yet to come. Once in place, the bridge will be the key thoroughfare between the incredible leisure and food facilities on Forge Island and the wider town centre. I cannot wait to see this new iconic feature on the Rotherham skyline.”

Work on the £47m Forge Island – which was announced as 100% in October 2022 – started on site in November 2022 overseen by lead contractor Bowmer + Kirkland working alongside the wider project team which also includes Arup, Helm Consulting, Arcadis and re-form Landscape Architecture. Forge Island is set to open to the public in 2024.

Forge Island website

Images: Muse / RMBC / SH Structures


Anonymous,  March 30, 2023 at 12:35 AM  

A great idea and a fitting tribute to one of Rotherham's most famous sons

Anonymous,  March 30, 2023 at 7:00 PM  

A Rotherham Grammar School Old Boy though no doubt King Edward Vll will soon be claiming he actually went there

Anonymous,  March 31, 2023 at 7:04 AM  

The bridge parts are already on site at Forge Island waiting to be put in place

Anonymous,  March 31, 2023 at 10:43 AM  

Yes, they are really cracking on with the work

Anonymous,  March 31, 2023 at 2:49 PM  

Attercliffe Junior and Infants actually before working on bins for Sheffield City Council

Anonymous,  March 31, 2023 at 4:34 PM  

After all the delays it’s nice to see them FORGING ahead!

Anonymous,  March 31, 2023 at 5:43 PM  

Blimey is that two regeneration stories in Rotherham today that actually seem like a good idea? I had to check the date and realised that it wasn't April Fool's until tomorrow!

Personally I think this is a good idea. It's easy to criticise RMBC when they usually get the blindingly obvious so wrong, but I think think this is a positive move... although I can't help but wonder if somehow they'll find a way to squeeze a cycle lane onto it? ;-)

In other news, I actually saw a digger on the cursed High Street pocket park, so perhaps that project is gearing up to get a bit of grass on it too.

Anonymous,  April 3, 2023 at 1:50 PM  

The digger has gone but there was a van there this morning delivering a bucket of sand. Maybe the council is bringing back Rotherham by the sea

Anonymous,  April 3, 2023 at 4:14 PM  

Dead right. They've just delivered a deckchair!

Anonymous,  April 4, 2023 at 6:24 AM  

What about the donkeys?

Anonymous,  April 4, 2023 at 11:23 AM  

They are in riverside house

Anonymous,  April 4, 2023 at 11:56 AM  

…they’re in the Council chamber… 😉

Anonymous,  April 4, 2023 at 2:03 PM  

Neigh lad!

Anonymous,  April 5, 2023 at 10:08 AM  


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