Castleford footbridge was officially opened on the 4th of July 2008 by Wakefield Council Leader Peter Box and TV presenter Kevin McCloud. The overall bridge project was funded by national and regional bodies at a cost of £4.8 million. The new bridge united the north and south banks of the Castleford's riverside community connecting Aire Street to Mill Lane. Architects of the bridge McDowell+Benedetti were selected by local community representatives as winners of an invited competition in 2003 to design a river crossing as part of a wider waterfront regeneration masterplan. Principal Renato Bendetti worked closely with the community project champions from the outset in a committed consultation process which helped to ensure the quality of the design.
The bridge was the first major bridge in the UK to be fully Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. The curved Cumaru timber boards had been sourced from sustainable forests in Brazil and were chosen for their durability. Lighting is embedded under the Cumaru handrails, which run the 130m length of the bridge. Balustrade posts are curved to reduce climb-ability and a series of stainless steel marker plates which sit flush with the deck and rise up from the benches, create arm rests to define personal space and to dissuade skateboarders from edge ‘grinding.’
Alison Drake from Castleford Heritage Trust said: "Since the beginning when we first chose Renato this has been a goal for the community to achieve. It is about connecting the community with the river and riverside. The design has fulfilled all our ambitions."
Footbridge Facts; Location: Castleford, River Aire, Yorkshire WF10, UK Client: City of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council (WMDC)
Construction Value: £3.2 million Surface area: Bridge Surface 524m2, associated work at both banks 2210m
Total timber weight: 37 tonnes Decking: All deck boards laid end to end = 8km Stainless steel deck fixings: total of 7000
The work associated with the footbridge formed part of a Channel 4 series of programmes
featuring Castleford and was presented by Kevin McCloud.
The Big Town Plan