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.