The pedestrian and cycle bridge between Marlborough Road and Hinksey Park is a well-used route for anyone heading to and from the city centre, as well as those looking to enjoy a stroll around the park.
But the old crossing was showing its age and was due for some restoration. The bridge had reached the end of its serviceable life and needed to be replaced to secure the route for the next 60 years.
The original footbridge dates from the 1960s. It was widened in the 1980s when it became part of the National Cycle Network Route 5. The bridge has been reconstructed using the original hand railings which preserve the character of its setting within one of Oxford's most popular parks.
The City Council-funded £70,000 restoration project was completed in four weeks. It means that the bridge now boasts new steel beams to replace the old timber ones, and decking, fit for such a popular walking and cycling route, that's capable of taking the punishment which that affords.
Cllr Louise Upton, Board Member for Healthy Oxford said: "This is a popular route for many, but the bridge was showing its age. Now the City Council has made sure that it's fit for another 60 years of useful life; and it looks fantastic! I'd urge anyone who hasn't tried walking or cycling this route to give it a go. It beats using the busy main roads.
"I have been part of the National Cycle Network review panel this year so I am really pleased that we are making this improvement in NCN Route 5."
Cllr Alex Donnelly and Cllr Marie Tidball are the ward councillors for Hinksey Park. Cllr Donnelly said: "This bridge is a much-loved part of south Oxford history and a vital access way into the city centre for residents.
"It’s great news that the City Council has now secured the bridge’s future and it can be safely used for decades to come. I know former councillor and City Alderman Bob Price has already incorporated the refurbished bridge into his morning run!"
Cllr Tidball, added: "The new bridge is great! I’ve enjoyed pushing my baby in her pram over the widened bridge, and the improved surface is also much easier for walkers and runners.
"It looks fantastic, and together with the foliage clearance which City Councillors requested from the City Council Parks Team, the entrance has opened up and the whole aspect is now really pleasant. A great job!"
The bridge was reopened on 26 November. During the work a temporary bridge was erected nearby to enable users to continue to easily access the park.