Rodwell Trail New Bridge at Newstead Road

Newstead Bridge

Newstead Bridge

Walkers and cyclists have viewed the design of the Newstead Road Bridge in Weymouth.

The iconic bridge has been designed by Brighton-based artist Bruce Williams, who earlier this year worked with local school children and held a public open studio to gather concepts for what local people wanted the bridge to represent.

Over the last few months, Bruce has been working closely with county council engineers to ensure that the artistic elements are worked into an engineering masterpiece, with the final design now available to see.

A public exhibition was held at Weymouth Outdoor Education Centre on Knightsdale Road, where Bruce and council engineers were available to answer questions.

Cabinet member for transport Peter Finney said:

“This has been a great opportunity to blend artistic elements into a local landmark and make sure that the new bridge is something for residents, walkers and cyclists to be proud of.

“The bridge will not only complete the walking and cycling link between Weymouth and Portland, it will also become the centrepiece of the Rodwell Trail.”

Kevin Humphreys, Sustrans Area Manager for Dorset, said:

“We are thrilled that the bridge design plans have had so much input from the local community. Bruce has found a structure that really works for Weymouth.

“The bridge will make it easier for people in this area to get around without having to rely on their car which is not only better for their health but the environment too.”

Visitors to the exhibition also had their chance to vote for three local figures to be immortalised in a new bench for the Rodwell Trail as part of the Connect2 scheme.

The life-size figures will be cut into weathered steel as part of the ‘portrait bench’; a place for people to stop and rest on their journey.

The bridge will be in place by that start of August next year.

It is funded by Sustrans and Dorset County Council. Sustrans is funding this route as part of their UK-wide ‘Connect2’ schemes to create networks for everyday journeys for people travelling by foot or by bike which are being created using a £50 million Big Lottery Fund grant after the UK public voted the scheme the winner of The People’s Millions Lottery contest in December 2007.

One local who uses the Rodwell Trail daily as both a cyclist and a pedestrian commented that a white line along the middle might help people know where they should be and reduce the confusion that exists between the two groups of users that sometimes results in misunderstanding and disagreements on the trail.

Artists Impression

Artists Impression

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