Safe passage as ribbon is cut on Castleford Bridge
Residents on either side of River Aire are now awarded safe passage following the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the much publicized Castleford Bridge. McDowell+Benedetti was the winner of an invited competition for an innovative 130m pedestrian bridge and public spaces as the first phase in River Aire waterfront regeneration masterplan for Wakefield Council, English Partnerships & Yorkshire Forward. The design process was filmed for the UK's Channel 4 TV documentary.
The first step in regeneration Masterplan for the town centre riverside includes the new bridge, public spaces, a boardwalk, and the ‘string of pearls’ civic lighting and new fish pass. Castleford Bridge is the catalyst for strategy to re-focus regeneration potential on the river as the town’s most under-used natural asset, by improving public access/enjoyment, and identifying new investment opportunities.
The bridge is a 4m wide public space with an innovative structure rising from the deck to create four 20m long curving benches to enjoy panoramic views. The curve follows site context of the mill, weir and shipwrecked barge for maximum user experience of landmarks and flowing water.
Balustrades provide maximum visibility for users with minimal visual impact on the riverscape. Bespoke hardwood decking is used with continuous LED lighting hidden under wide handrails.
The project was developed with engineers Alan Baxter Assoc., Arup and Sutton Vane Assoc.