River Lagan: Nine bridge designs shortlisted for iconic new link
One of these spectacular bridges could be spanning the River Lagan in years to come.
These are the nine designs shortlisted for a walking and cycling bridge that would provide a new link in Belfast city centre between the Gasworks and Ormeau Park.
A Gasworks Bridge, costing between £4m and £12m, would allow walkers and cyclists to commute into the city centre without having to brave the heavily congested Albert Bridge and Ormeau Bridge.
Last year, the Belfast Telegraph revealed that Transport Minister Danny Kennedy had launched a feasibility study into plans for a new footbridge.
Now the nine designs will go on display at a series of public information events, so the people of the city can give their opinions. The results of the consultation are expected to be ready by the end of February.
Mr Kennedy said: "My aim is to develop an iconic, pedestrian and cycle bridge which will connect two of the city's key assets – the Gasworks Business Park and Ormeau Park.
"The existing paths within Ormeau Park are widely used for walking and cycling.
"Importantly, the proposed bridge will build on my commitment to promote and develop cycling as it will provide a quiet route for cyclists and pedestrians to and from the city centre."
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, said: "As a wannabe cyclist and keen runner it is great to see Belfast being made even more accessible for cyclists, runners and pedestrians.
"This new bridge will link one of our premier green areas with our city centre and will hopefully encourage more people to use cycles as a fast, efficient and environmentally friendly way to get around – as well as encourage the public to exercise more.
"As many people as possible should attend the information days to ensure we get the iconic bridge that the city deserves."