Bridge Over Troubled Financial Waters…
Salford Council's obsession with bridges, fountains and follies takes a new turn this week, with the launch of its £30,000 bridge beauty contest, first revealed in the Salford Star in March (see here for full article).
The international design contest, being facilitated by RIBA Competitions, is searching for a `landmark' footbridge to link The Crescent to The Meadows which will "strengthen and accelerate existing private sector delivery programmes" and "raise the transformational profile of the area", according to a Salford Council report.
As well as the £30,000 cost of the competition, the footbridge will have a building budget of "up to £1.9million".
The Meadows already has three footbridges going over the River Irwell, plus half of one near the Old Pint Pot pub which is very near to the site where the Council wants to locate the new one, and was only built twenty years ago.
However, a feasibility study by Urban Vision discounted the idea of extending the existing `Adelphi' footbridge as it didn't have disabled access (DDA compliant) and didn't meet the "client's aspirations".
Neither will the Adelphi bridge be knocked down, as "removal of the structure could receive criticism of Salford Council's forward planning strategy". The Urban Vision report notes that "The bridge was built as part of larger scheme to open up the riverside walkways in this area of the city" which is "currently on hold". In other words, someone might spot a monumental cock up.
The report cites a budget for the new bridge of between £950,000 and £1,729,000, but the RIBA Competitions brief sets the cost at "up to £1.9million". Nowhere does it state how the new footbridge will be funded.
The new Meadows Bridge will be in addition to three other new bridges already built recently at MediaCityUK, Spinningfields and Greengate, and another yet to be announced.
• For anyone fancying their chances to design the `Salford Meadows Bridge', the competition is open until 5th September and will cost fifty quid to stick in an entry. Three entries will then be shortlisted and the designers paid £4000 to further develop their ideas which will be put out to public consultation before the judging panel decide the final, fourth, bridge…
Judges include City Mayor Ian Stewart, Salford Council's Karen Hirst, Les Brown from Countryside Properties and Darren Kibble from the University of Salford. For full details click here