The work will be done as part of the agreement signed between the Port Authority and Santurtzi Town Council.
The new footbridge will be wider for pedestrian traffic, with two lifts for improved access.
As a result of the collaboration agreement between the Port Authority of Bilbao and the Santurtzi Town Council to promote and develop port-city interaction, the Port Authority has begun the demolition and subsequent reconstruction of the footbridge between Avenida Murrieta and Paseo Reina Victoria Eugenia.
The current footbridge does not meet existing accessibility criteria or comply with current ADIF regulations, and is one of the main works provided for under the agreement. The works, awarded by public tender to CYCASA, S.A., have a budget of EUR 1.85 million, with a 6-month timeframe for completion.
Once the current footbridge has been demolished, the new one will be built with a 55.72 m long metal structure divided into two spans. Access will be by stairs and alternative accessible lifts. The new footbridge will be built on the same site as the existing one and designed in such a way as to improve pedestrian traffic in the area. Compliance with specifications applicable under current regulations will mean that the bridge will cater for a wider range of pedestrian traffic, including people with reduced mobility (PRM), and that the bridge itself will be wider, thus complying with ADIF regulations.
The new footbridge, with a Corten Steel structure, starts at Avenida Murrieta, 12.8 m above sea level, and reaches Paseo de la Reina Victoria Eugenia at 11.96 m above sea level, with a 1.5% downhill gradient. The footbridge crosses over Calle Parque de Santurtzi and over four ADIF-operated railway tracks coming out from Santurtzi railway station. The new footbridge will provide easier access compared to the existing one and, as previously mentioned, complies with applicable standards on this issue, as it is 2.5 m wide.
On the Paseo de la Reina Victoria side, a 17.5 m x 6.3 m area will be created to connect the deck of the bridge with the lift and the stairs, and which will also serve as a viewpoint overlooking the river and as a covered area for this section of the walkway. This will also be made of Corten steel, with WPC paving tiles, which will likewise be used for the bridge deck itself.
2-metre-wide concrete stairs will provide access to the bridge from Parque Santurtzi Street, whilst a metallic staircase, also 2 m wide, will be built for access to Paseo de la Reina Victoria. Alternatively, panoramic lifts will also be made available.
As Ricardo Barkala, President of the Port Authority of Bilbao, explained, and having complied with all relevant administrative formalities, “work on the new footbridge can now finally start, thereby providing further proof of our commitment to Santurtzi and its residents”. The Port Authority will take forward this and other such projects provided for within the
agreement “provided, naturally, that the Town Council has previously been duly consulted, their advice sought and their approval obtained. Together we will work to modernise, repair, and improve access to and the safety of public amenities, to promote the sustainable use of these places as meeting points for local residents and looking, in turn, to ensure that these areas co-exist with the port facilities. In short, to contribute to improving the quality of life in Santurtzi”.
For her part, the mayoress of Santurtzi, Aintzane Urkijo, pointed out that the construction of this new footbridge “will improve access to a facility that is used on a daily basis by the people of Santurtzi. By modernising the footbridge and improving access to it, we are providing a solution to a problem which had previously made it impossible for the footbridge to be used by everyone. This action complements others that have already been taken, such as the cycle lane on the seafront, and others that will be taken in the near future”.
Likewise, during the press conference, Ms. Urkijo thanked “the Port Authority for the money it is investing in this area, which will gradually translate into projects such as the one we are presenting today, designed to improve the quality of life of the people of this town”.
Scope of the latest agreement
The collaboration between the Port Authority and the Santurtzi Town Council goes back to the origin and development of the port facilities themselves in the town. This collaboration has enabled a series of urban development projects and actions to be taken forward, such as the creation of seafront walkways and public highways and the recovery and opening of new leisure areas and facilities for the local population.
The latest agreement, signed in May 2022, runs for four years, and is designed above all for better access to the town and to improve the conditions of roads, public spaces and the urban-port environment for leisure, public and recreational use by residents, with walkways, roads, cycle paths, footbridges and lifts.