Footbridges and conservation have gone together for some time. There are footbridges that allow wildlife to safely cross highways and others strictly for two-legged folks. The new River Hull Footbridge, located east of the northern English town of Hull, connects its Old Town conservation area to an industrial space currently undergoing redevelopment. And it does it with a unique style and grace.
Designed by the British architectural firm McDowell & Benedetti, this innovative £6.5 million hi-tech footbridge won an international competition for a new opening bridge acting as a focus for river regeneration. It allows people not only to walk across the bridge but to also ride across as it rotates. The rotation process is so slow that pedestrians can step on and off the bridge as they like.
Designed as an arch-type bridge with wonderful angles and curves, small river traffic can easily pass underneath. For larger craft, the footbridge’s walkway section is set upon a series of wheels that run on top of a circular track, 16 m (52 ft) in diameter. Three electric gear units drive the footbridge mechanism forward, pivoting it around a central slew bearing, similar to how a railway turntable functions. The bridge’s landscaped approaches feature public art while its hub section features a restaurant space, with a viewing platform on its roof. Completed in May of this year, this has to be one of the more fascinating footbridges designed so far.