Sutton Harbour footbridge to reopen

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.”