The Sutton Harbour pedestrian footbridge will reopen to the public at 6am tomorrow (Good Friday, April 19th) in time for Easter.
The footbridge, which crosses Sutton Lock and connects the historic Barbican quarter to the east side of Sutton Harbour via the National Aquarium and the fishing quarter, is now fully operational following the successful fitting of the new one-tonne bearing.
Following the installation, full testing has been carried out by expert teams during the last week to ensure that the hydraulics and electrics are working effectively and safely, with the lock remaining open to marine traffic for the majority of this time.
The repairs have been jointly funded by Plymouth City Council, the Environment Agency and Sutton Harbour Group. All three organisations contributed a total of £250,000. Plymouth Waterfront Partnership also contributed £10,000.
Plymouth City Council commissioned the repairs, which involved a complex engineering project with a bespoke bearing manufactured in America (after local engineering companies turned down the commission), transported to and successfully installed by local companies.
The bearing acts as a turntable for the footbridge, with the inner ring attached to the underside of the bridge, while the outer ring is attached to a foundation plinth.
The custom-built pedestrian footbridge was fitted more than 20 years ago as part of the installation of the Sutton Harbour lock gates. The lock gate’s main function is to manage flood risk and allow marine traffic, such as fishing boats, to enter Sutton Harbour.
The pedestrian footbridge will be open to the public between 6am and 11pm, seven days a week, with the exception of Christmas Day when it will be closed.
Operating times are dependent on waiting marine traffic, which takes priority.
Philip Beinhaker, Executive Chairman of Sutton Harbour Group plc, said: “We are delighted to see the Sutton Harbour footbridge reopen ahead of the Easter weekend to enable people to cross the harbour more easily to visit attractions such as the National Marine Aquarium and Rockfish restaurant from the Barbican quarter.
“This will enhance circulation around the entire Sutton Harbour for the Mayflower 400 events in 2020, and activity on the east side will be further stimulated with the approved development by SHG of additional residential units and new retail space at Harbour Arch Quay and Sugar Quay.
“The repair process has been an extremely complex and lengthy operation, for which we are very grateful to Plymouth City Council, for their efforts in effectively leading repairs, and the Environment Agency for their support.”