Musical bridge opens over the River Hull

Elizabeth Hopkirk

McDowell & Benedetti’s swing bridge over the River Hull

McDowell & Benedetti won three-stage international design competition

McDowell & Benedetti’s swing bridge over the River Hull has opened.

The black steel design is believed to be a world first, offering pedestrians the chance to ride the bridge as it opens and closes to river traffic.

It provides a new link between Hull old town and the undeveloped industrial east bank whose regeneration it is designed to unlock.

The scheme includes a new landscaped garden and square at Scale Lane Staith designed by landscape architects Grontmij and a restaurant space in the structure’s hub.

The bridge offers two paths – one gently sloping and a shorter stepped route. Between them runs a spine with seating and a viewing deck.

It arches up and cantilevers 35m over the river from the west bank, allowing smaller boats to pass underneath. When the bridge does open, it does so slowly enough for pedestrians to step on to the western end.

Artist Nayan Kulkarni has created a sonic landscape which alerts pedestrians to the imminent opening by triggering a sequence of rhythmic bells which increases in urgency and combines with a pulsing light.

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