York’s newest bridge, the first to be built over the River Ouse in the city centre for 137 years, echoed to the sound of its first footsteps yesterday.
The £4m Scarborough Bridge, a pedestrian and cycle crossing, is a replacement for a narrow footbridge, which is crossed by more than 3,000 people a day.
It will open to the public next month – later than expected after bad weather delayed the construction – but councillors and other officials were given a private preview.
The bridge will provide a direct footway to the railway station and a scenic route, free of traffic, for visitors to the city. It will remain accessible even when the river is in flood – as it had been four days ago during the weekend rainfall.
York council’s transport spokesman, Peter Dew, has said it would be “worth the wait and will quickly become an iconic new feature of the city centre”.
The original bridge was designed and built by the railway pioneer Robert Stephenson in 1845, and saw a walkway placed between the train tracks.
Its replacement footbridge was installed when York Station was moved in 1870s, and has remained largely unchanged until now.