Shoreham Harbour footbridge takes shape

Views of Shoreham Harbour will start to look dramatically different from this weekend as Osborne, working for West Sussex County Council, installs the central swing span for the new Shoreham Footbridge.

The 50 metre long span, which is made of steel and weighs 88 tonnes, will swing open to allow river traffic to pass by the bridge.

West Sussex County Council’s project manager Tony Bathmaker said: “This is a significant milestone for the project. It means the new bridge will span the full width of the River Adur for the first time.”

The heavy structure has been delivered to the site by barge in three sections after construction engineers spent a month fitting it together in Shoreham Port. A 180 tonne crane located beside the bridge on an octopus barge is being used to put the central swing span in place.

The final part of the structure will be installed on Saturday. The extended cold snap has affected the project since the start of the year.

Tony said: “From this point forward, progress on site should be less dependent on weather. The prolonged periods of cold weather have held up some aspects of construction – in particular the completion of the concrete deck.”

“Despite this our contractor has managed to catch up on some of the delay caused by the sustained winter weather.” He added: “The project is currently on course for the new bridge to open to the public by mid-September.”

Tommy Chambers, Strategic Development Director at Osborne said: “This is a technically challenging project requiring a variety of skills – not only from a construction point of view, but also due to the bridge’s location across the upper section of the harbour, which almost dries out at low tide.”

“With the prospect of warmer weather to come we can be confident that substantial progress will be made in the coming months.”

The project has been funded by the County Council and sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

Sustrans’ South East Regional Director, Simon Pratt, said: “The Harbour footbridge will help thousands of local people and visitors get around Shoreham by foot or bike every year, enabling people stay active and healthy, reduce congestion and making the local environment a more pleasant place to spend time.

“The footbridge is one of the biggest bridges built under the lottery funded programme, receiving the biggest grant in the South East.”

The Shoreham-by-Sea shuttle bus service, which takes passengers from Shoreham Beach to Coronation Green and back, will continue to operate until the new bridge is open to the public.