River Don footbridge in floods package

A NEW footbridge across the River Don and a package of flood defence measures will be constructed in the Wicker area of Sheffield under a council plan.

It was originally intended to construct a 90 metre long footbridge across the river, following a skewed angle between both banks and Sheffield Council already has planning permission for that.

But officials have looked again at the scheme and come up with a new plan which involves the construction of a 40 metre long bridge, providing a more direct link straight across the water at a location nearby.

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As part of the package the council would also install a series of flood defence measures, mainly involving the construction of retaining walls to hold back water should the river level rise excessively, with valves to allow any water which did spill overland to run back into the river.

The Wicker has been subject to widespread regeneration work in recent years which has seen large building developments.

The authority has to seek planning permission for the new work, however, and councillors will be asked to approve the scheme when they meet next Monday.

Under the plan the new bridge would span the river from a location near the inner ring road bridge at Cutlers Gate, connecting the Wicker with Furnival Road.

The new bridge would be constructed from metal, with a design echoing butterfly wings, though the width of the walkway would be narrower than the one originally designed for the site.

A report to councillors states the new bridge was consistent with the "objectives of the Wicker Riverside Action, which specifically identifies the need for a new footbridge to improve links between Kelham, Wicker and Victoria Quays.