Bringing NYC to Bowling bridge
City park inspiration for facelift
Bowling could be in line for its very own taste of New York following the restoration of a 120-year-old swing bridge.
Work on the bridge over the Forth and Clyde Canal is the latest stage of a £3.2million transformation of the area and could pave the way for a new linear park inspired by New York City’s High Line.
The High Line in the Big Apple is an elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail which opened in 2009 and has since become an icon in contemporary landscape architecture .
Fundraising is now underway at Bowling for the next stage of the development of the structure transforming the former railway line using the New York site as a model.
Design and development manager at Scottish Canals, Helena Huws said: “Over the past few years, we’ve been working with our partners and the local community to breathe new life into Bowling Harbour, investing more than £3.2m in the area.
“The restoration of the area’s iconic railway bridge to its former glory is the next step in that story and we’re delighted to see the project completed.
“Now we’re looking to deliver the next stages of the masterplan we’ve helped shape with the local community – bringing further investment, employment opportunities and vibrancy to Bowling, and developing a fantastic tourism and leisure destination fitting of the western gateway to the Forth and Clyde Canal.”
Bowling Harbour’s viaduct swing bridge was constructed in 1896 to carry the Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Railway over the Forth and Clyde Canal.
After the railway was abandoned in 1960, the bridge fell into disrepair. Thanks to funding support from Sustrans and Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Canals has undertaken vital repairs to the structure’s badly corroded metalwork and repainted the entire span.
The project is now complete and, together with the recent refurbishment of the bridge’s railway arches into commercial units, has ensured that the structure will continue to play an important role in the area for years to come.
West Dunbartonshire Council’s regeneration convener, Councillor Iain McLaren added: “The Bowling swing bridge is of real historical importance and it is wonderful to see it restored to its former glory as part of this ambitious project.
“The work already carried out at Bowling Harbour has made it a destination well worth visiting and the plans for further regeneration of the area are extremely exciting.”