2015: The Rollout of an Innovative and Apostrophe-Shaped Bridge in England

June 28, 2015

An apostrophe-shaped, cantilevered swing bridge built for pedestrians and bicyclists only was officially opened in the port city and unitary authority of Kingston upon Hull (also known simply as Hull) in northeastern England. This bridge spans the local harbor, which connects with the River Humber, and serves as a link between Scale Lane and Tower Street in Hull.

The Scale Lane Footbridge became the first moving bridge in the world that allows people to remain on the structure while it opens to allow vessels to pass beneath. A slow-rotating mechanism makes it possible for the bridge to swing open to facilitate the passage of larger vessels and to curve upwards so that smaller boats can likewise safely sail through that part of the harbor.

The Scale Lane Footbridge was designed by the architectural firm McDowell+Benedetti. Construction on the bridge began in 2005.

Those taking part in the inauguration of the Scale Lane Footbridge included Nadine Fudge, lord mayor of Hull. (Since the 14th century, the lord mayors of Hull have also been given the title “Admiral of the Humber.”) “It’s an honor to open this unique footbridge on behalf of the city, which links the Old Town to the east banks of Hull,” Fudge proclaimed to those in attendance. “Our Old Town has wonderful museums and attractions and it’s great that we’re able to add another experience for people to enjoy.” Fudge also said, “Hull’s strong maritime history is echoed in the ships bells ringing as the bridge opens and we should be proud that we are continuing to reflect on our heritage.”

The Scale Lane Footbridge has been the recipient of several awards for its innovative features. In addition, Popular Mechanics magazine named it as one of the “30 Most Impressive Bridges in the World” while the Economic Times included the structure in a list of engineering marvels.

Photo Credit: “New Footbridge Scale Lane Staith to Tower Street,” by Malcolm Sandilands (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en)

For more information on the Scale Lane Footbridge, please check out  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scale_Lane_Footbridge

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