A bridge over Alexandra Dock

A 25-metre steel and timber footbridge weighing 14 tonnes has been installed across the mouth of Alexandra Dock in Belfast’s historic Queen’s Island. The bridge will allow visitors to the Pump House to walk across the 19th century dock which is now home to HMS Caroline.

Built by Woodburn Engineering in Carrickfergus, the bridge is made of steel with a timber walk way and is a central component in a major refurbishment programme of the historic Belfast docks.
Director of the £18m HMS Caroline, Pump House and Alexandra Dock restoration projects, Captain John Rees OBE, says the bridge is one of the final pieces of the jigsaw.

“The bridge effectively opens up access to Alexandra Dock from the Pump House for the first time in many decades,” he says. “This will be one of the final pieces completing a complex and very attractive cluster of Victorian architecture, engineering and marine technologies centred around HMS Caroline.”

HMS Caroline is the world’s last remaining floating survivor of the 1916 Battle of Jutland between the German and British imperial and grand fleets. It secured five-star status from Tourism Northern Ireland earlier this year and has also won major tourism awards in the UK.

“HMS Caroline is a living legend. This is a world class heritage asset and the only ship remaining from the Grand and High Seas Fleet of some 250 vessels,” says Captain Rees. “We must not underestimate the value of this ship and the resonance of its history and position in Northern Ireland, so it is a matter of pride for us as well as a contribution to local communities that the ship is brought back to life as a museum and  visitor attraction. Naval historians and the general public around the world will be fascinated by this wonderful ship and delighted that they can come on board and see it for themselves.”

Moored in Belfast since 1924 the ship has been restored and fitted out with exhibition areas and exciting interactive suites to provide the visitor with a stark sense of what it was like to be in the middle of a naval battle against the mightiest floating army in the world, the German Imperial Fleet.

HMS Caroline 1916