New Brooklyn bridge in Sheffield

A bridge too far – for now

Last year a scheme was approved by councillors to build a replica of the world-famous Brooklyn bridge across the River Don in Sheffield. It was in recognition the city’s links with the Brooklyn bridge in New York, as apparently Sheffield steel manufacturer Andrews Toledo supplied the high-quality crucible steel used for its main hangers.

With most of the funding for the replica in place, all was progressing well until the catastrophic floods of June last year bought the project to a standstill.

I got in touch with Sheffield industrial museums trust to find out the latest. Following the floods, the Environment Agency had to re-assess the river and has recently removed 8,000 tons of rubble and soil from around the weir and Kelham Island itself.

At the moment a new flood wall protection around Kelham is being designed and is scheduled to be built next year. This will affect the bridge design and so the two will have to be integrated, with the wall being built first.

We are reassured that there is is still strong support for the bridge, and in the meantime the funds set aside for the scheme have been invested in a high interest account with the council.

I really hope this project is realised before long. As the background story illustrates, the building of the New York Brooklyn bridge is a poignant and romantic tale, and you can’t help but think that the completion of the replica bridge – after the problems of its own – would be a fitting tribute to its inspirational and beautiful big sister over the pond.

Brooklyn bridge, New York

'Sunset on the Brooklyn Bridge'

Image by wenzday01 and used under Creative Commons license

Leave a comment


  1. Robin

     /  14 November, 2008

    Great post, I was thinking about this just the other day. I still can’t figure out where it’ll be exactly though.

    Do you know if there are any plans to fix the spiderweb bridge after it had its safety railings nicked?

  2. The booklet about the Kelham Island Furnace Trail shows the planned location for the ‘Brooklyn Bridge’. It would pass over Kelham Weir at an angle, joining the Island to Ball Street, more or less perpendicular to Ball Street.

    We were looking at this last weekend, trying to imagine it, but that bit of Kelham Island isn’t even accessible at the moment, big security gates block it off. I’m not sure if this is still a hangover from the floods, it all looks rather permanent.

  3. wildnorthlands

     /  14 November, 2008

    The Broklyn Bridge replica will be a key part of the North Don trail, a walking and cycling route from the city centre out to Oughtibridge to rival the Five Weirs Walk (it should be even better than the 5WW as we have learnt a few lessons about how to design these routes now) Sustrans is planning a workcamp in Beeley Woods next summer to upgrade the path through there.

    Robin, it was decided not to re-open the cobweb bridge until the development work at Blonk St was complete, so a through route would br available that would attract a decent footfall, thus deterring thieves and other anti-social types. The steel guard cables have actually been stolen twice and the plan now is to replace them with something plastic that still looks good but has no value for thieves. We were promised opening by Autumn 08 but the leaves are rapidly falling….

  4. Christine Thares

     /  7 October, 2009

    Where can I find a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge under $100.? Love this photo of the bridge-is it in print?

  5. Sheffield blog

     /  7 October, 2009

    Not sure about replicas but you could get in touch with the person who took the photo and ask for a print?

    Sunset on the Brooklyn Bridge

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