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Archbishops walk on water

MediaCityUk bridge opened by Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu

Published on March 1st 2011.


Archbishops walk on water

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York were today the first people to use a striking new £11million pedestrian swingbridge at MediaCityUK.

Designed by engineering consultant Gifford, the bridge is the final piece of the jigsaw in a circular walking route connecting Salford Quays, MediaCityUK, The Lowry and Imperial War Museum North.

Spanning the Manchester Ship Canal, the footbridge launches from between two of the BBC buildings at MediaCityUK in Salford, landing near Imperial War Museum North in Trafford.

The Archbishops pushed a button to set off the mechanism to close the bridge and were the first official party to step onto it.

Funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), the bridge provides better access and should encourage greater footfall to and from MediaCityUK as well as areas around Trafford Wharf and through to Trafford Park, and Old Trafford football and cricket grounds.

The Archbishops said: "We are delighted to mark the completion of the bridge and to celebrate this new link between Salford and Trafford.

We congratulate all involved with its planning, financing and construction. We pray for all who will cross it, for the communities it links, and for the building of bridges between those who live, work and visit this place."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, are in the city as part of a four-day tour of Manchester titled The Archbishops in Mission in Manchester. This is the first time the two Archbishops have made a joint tour to a major UK city.

Designed by engineering consultant Gifford, the bridge is the final piece of the jigsaw in a circular walking route connecting Salford Quays, MediaCityUK, The Lowry and Imperial War Museum North. In addition, it complements the Irwell River Park scheme to develop the waterfront along an 8km stretch of the River Irwell.

The bridge will officially open to the public in May 2011 following final completion works to the landscaping. The 85 metre long bridge deck has been designed to pivot asymmetrically on a point about three-quarters of the way along its length in order to allow ships and barges to manoeuvre in and out of the nearby docks.

Confidential will be along shortly to judge the bridge and see if it will be holy good or wholly inadequate.

Follow Jonathan Schofield on twitter @JonathSchofield

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