Northern Ireland news

New bridge across the River Lagan in south Belfast lowered into place

The new bridge linking Annadale and Stranmillis in Belfast was lowered into place on Thursday. Picture by Mal McCann

A NEW bridge across the River Lagan in south Belfast has finally been lowered into place.

The foot and cycle bridge linking Stranmillis and Annadale embankments will allow more people using the existing towpath to walk from one side of the river to the other.

It is located close to the existing weir at Stranmillis, just below Belfast Boat Club and is part of the £4.8m Lagan Gateway project, which aims to improve the area around the Lagan Towpath/Stranmillis Weir.

Work had originally been due to be completed in Autumn 2019, but was halted when the contractor went into administration.

But the project took a major step forward on Thursday when the new bridge, which is 39 metres long, weighs 35 tonnes and was produced off site, was lifted into position.

The initiative, which it is hoped will be completed by Spring, also has involved the creation of a a new path from the Belfast Boat Club on the Stranmillis side of the river, to the bridge landing and the connection to the towpath has also been finished.

Landscaping on the Stranmillis side is also underway with the slopes around the newly created path formed and trees being planted.

It is part of the Lagan Gateway project. Picture by Mal McCann

On the Annadale side, work has been ongoing on the new canal upstream of the lock and new lock gates installed.

The replacement of the existing Stranmillis Weir gates, which is being carried out on behalf of Department for Infrastructure, is also underway. This will see the working parts of the weir refurbished, including the gates, motors and walkway.

The project has been funded by Belfast City Council, the Departments for Communities and Infrastructure as well as the Lagan Navigation Trust and Ulster Garden Villages.

A council spokeswoman last night said: "Once it’s open for use - later this Spring - it will enable walkers and pedestrians to cross to both sides of the river at Stranmillis/Belfast Boat Club entrance and also to access the towpath from Lagan Lands East, off Annadale Embankment.

"The weir itself is also being replaced to work once again, along with new pathways, planting."

The Lagan Gateway Bridge and Lock, Stranmillis, Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann.

The Lagan Gateway Bridge and Lock, Stranmillis, Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann.

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