A new bridge across the A63 in Hull has opened after years of delays to a £22m Highways England project.
Murdoch’s Connection is named after the city’s first female GP, Dr Mary Murdoch. The name was put forward by students from a local girls school in an essay competition and then put to a public vote with other candidates.
The bridge links the city centre to the marina, waterfront and fruit market. It crosses the A63 dual carriageway, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross the road, and will also ease congestion.
Highways England described the opening as a significant milestone for the £355m Castle Street scheme, which was approved by the Department for Transport last year and aims to create a better connection between the city centre and the retail and docks area.
The bridge was originally planned to be open for the city’s hosting of the UK City of Culture festival in 2017 but was delayed by construction issues and then the pandemic. Last June Highways England said it was ‘still working towards opening it in late summer’.
From its lowest point, it stands at 47 metres tall – two metres higher than Hull Minster. It is 60 metres long and weighs 150 tonnes, with 1,700m cubic metres of concrete used in its construction.
Emma Hardy, Labour MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle, said: ‘It has been a real journey over the years and I wish to thank all the agencies that helped in getting this project completed, including all the schools and school children who took part in the naming competition.
‘I am sure Dr Mary Murdoch would be immensely proud knowing that her name lives on in Hull helping to inspire the next generation of great women from our great city.’
Transport minister Baroness Vere said: ‘It’s great to see this bridge opening up so that people can get around the city more easily. It also improves safety for cyclists and pedestrians by providing an alternative route across the A63.
‘This is all part of our multi-million pound investment into the Castle Street scheme which will transform the city, reconnecting the areas north and south of the A63 and improving traffic flow to the port.’
Murdoch’s Connection was part-funded with a £4m contribution from the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership’s local growth fund programme.