The twisted and distorted bridge that became a symbol for the power of the Canterbury earthquakes has a new incarnation.
The Medway Street footbridge was officially opened to the public today, the second of three new pedestrian bridges to be built in the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor.
For the first time since the earthquakes, the bridge will provide foot and cycle access over the river from where Medway Street meets River Road across to Avonside Drive.
Christchurch City Council Head of Parks Andrew Rutledge says today’s opening has special resonance for the surrounding communities.
“This will return an important cross-river connection point for people living in the area which has been absent since the earthquakes as well as providing a link for those looking to explore the evolving Regeneration Area.”
The three bridges at Avondale, Medway Street and Snell Place and the riverside landing at Dallington were funded by a $13.7 million grant from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust. Avondale and Dallington opened in March.
Once all three bridges have been completed, they will play an important part in the planned City to Sea pathway which will follow the Ōtākaro Avon River from Barbadoes Street to New Brighton.
“There’s a lot of work under way to bring the vision and objectives for the Regeneration Area to fruition and the contribution the trust has made to that is deeply appreciated,” says Mr Rutledge.
After the original Medway Street bridge was removed in 2013 it was cut into three sections before being stored at Ferrymead Heritage Park.
In 2018 a section was returned to the site as a memorial structure and sits near the bridge’s original location, on the Avonside side of the river.