Bristol

Brunel's 'other bridge' could become Bristol footbridge

Image of Brunel's 'other bridge' in Bristol Image copyright Historic England
Image caption The bridge is being repaired by volunteers to prevent it from deteriorating

A bridge known as "Brunel's other bridge" could be moved to safeguard its future.

The Avon Industrial Buildings Trust (AIBT) and the SS Great Britain Trust said the historic swing bridge could become a new footbridge, located across the entrance of the Albion dry dock in Bristol.

Both organisations hope the new location will become a long-term home.

The Grade II-listed swing bridge was built in 1849.

It has been on Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register since 2011.

Geoff Wallis, a trustee of the AIBT, said a study would assess whether it can be restored to working order as a footbridge.

He also said the bridge could provide a walkway which would avoid the need for anyone to walk around what is a "very large dock".

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, born in 1806, was a civil engineer who is probably best known for designing the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which joins Bristol and North Somerset.

Image copyright Historic England
Image caption Brunel's "other bridge" will be restored under a new partnership

Matthew Tanner, chief executive of the SS Great Britain Trust, said plans to "move, preserve and restore operation" of the bridge would give it the "visibility it deserves as a significant engineering marvel".

The proposed plans could become another point of access to Brunel's SS Great Britain, which is next to the dry dock.

Recently, a £62,000 grant was awarded by Historic England to "save" the bridge.

When the funding was announced, Alessandra Perrone from Historic England said they were "delighted" to work with "many dedicated volunteers to save this remarkable bridge".

The organisations said these plans are their first steps in exploring options for the long-term preservation of the bridge.

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