A New Bridge
Our town can be divided into 3 distinct sections:- north, south and beach. We live in the north, close to the South Downs, the town centre is in the south and dividing the south and the beach is the river estuary. Crossing the estuary is a footbridge and this has recently been rebuilt.
The old one was narrow and always busy with residents from the beach area going into town and townspeople and visitors heading for the beach in the other direction (and then both groups retracing their route later!). Cyclists were allowed over, but had to dismount, which made it difficult as a person pushing a bike takes up a lot more space than a person sitting on a bike. Add to that the children (both in and out of pushchairs) and numerous dogs (both on and off leads) and you can see why we needed a new bridge.
Apart from that, the old bridge had seen better days and was reaching the end of its life.
And so it was time for a new one ...
The new bridge took several months to complete and longer than expected due to technical problems but has been well worth the wait. There are now lovely glass panels at the sides for viewing the river (with the previous bridge, and its very high sides, you could only see the river if you jumped in the air and had a fleeting glimpse before you landed on your feet again!).
Residents and visitors alike now love using the new bridge and it adds an extra dimension to the town. And with funding from Sustrans it means that cyclists are well provided for and the bridge is wide enough for cycling to be allowed.
Apparently, shortly after opening, someone rode a horse across the bridge which decided to go to the toilet half way across. This was then declared a health and safety hazard and so cones were placed around the offending area before the correct "horse manure removing team" were free to attend and tidy up. In my grandparents' day, word would have got out and it would be a mad race to the bridge with bucket and spade to collect a welcome supply of fertiliser to put on the roses!
It was sad to see 2 broken panes of glass already though. Made of safety glass so no danger to the public, but I was unsure if these were acts of vandalism or "teething" problems due to the panel not been installed to the correct tension.
However, on a brighter note, the bridge is a happy place to be, making crossing the river a pleasure and on sunny days, you may even see and hear a busker playing.