Gibraltar’s newest enhancement to the Upper Rock, which is also a new tourist attraction, will be a 71 metre long suspension bridge at Royal Anglian Way.
The spectacular engineering feat constructed over a 50 metre gorge, has been undertaken by local firm Bovis Koala and is part of Her Majesty's Government of Gibraltar's refurbishment programme of the Upper Rock within the Gibraltar Nature Reserve.
The project which involves anchoring and foundation works, has been carried out in conjunction with the Spanish contractor I Muntanya, who specialise in suspension bridges in the Pyrenees. The main structure of the bridge was assembled in Spain and is currently in the process of being installed. The Government expects that the bridge will be fully installed by the end of March.
The suspension bridge will form part of a sustainable tourism initiative, which includes the clean-up and restoration of Upper Rock country walks to encourage a healthier lifestyle and outdoor activities. This will complement the innovative Nature Lover, History Buff, Let’s Go Ape and Thrill Seeker trails, marketed as part of a concerted drive to rebrand the Upper Rock and upgrade tourist infrastructure.
As with the restored walks and paths, the suspension bridge offers residents and tourists the opportunity to experience Gibraltar’s primary natural asset and renovated heritage features in a new and exciting manner.
As part of this administration’s unprecedented investment in the Upper Rock, formerly derelict areas of historical interest have been reopened to the public and key heritage sites restored. Picnic and rest areas have also been provided.
Minister for the Environment, the Hon Dr John Cortes, said: “We are extremely satisfied with the direction that the Upper Rock improvements are taking. This Government strives to offer the best possible tourist product for Gibraltar in an environmentally sustainable way that does not disturb or intrude upon the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. The improvements currently being undertaken are an innovative and seamless consolidation of the Rock’s history, heritage and natural environment that engage the visitor in a holistic and meaningful way”.
Minister for Tourism, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, said she was delighted with this new project: “This is another new tourist attraction. The Gibraltar Government will continue to support the tourist industry as a vital sector of the Rock’s overall economic prosperity. With this in mind we invested heavily in upgrading tourist infrastructure in Gibraltar during our first term of office, a works programme which has dramatically transformed the Upper Rock for the better.
“The new suspension bridge highlights our political commitment to a constant improvement of facilities and recreational amenities for visitors and the resident population. The Gibraltar Nature Reserve, Upper Rock is a fantastic asset and the new suspension bridge is an attractive addition, a ‘wow factor’ that will thrill visitors. It will further strengthen our position as a tourist destination that offers a very varied offering also in terms of heritage and natural tourism”.