Etymologyfoot + bridge
bridge for pedestrians
A footbridge is a bridge designed for pedestrians and in some cases cyclists and horse riders, rather than vehicular traffic. An enclosed footbridge between two buildings is sometimes known as a skyway.
Footbridges are often situated to allow pedestrians to cross water or railways in areas where there are no nearby roads to necessitate a road bridge, They are also located across roads to let pedestrians cross safely without slowing down the traffic. The latter is a type of pedestrian separation structure, examples of which are particularly found near schools, to help prevent children running in front of moving cars.
Small footbridges can also be used for decorative effect in ornamental gardens.
Types of footbridge (which are not also types of road bridge) include:
Footbridges can also be built in the same ways as road or rail bridges; particularly suspension bridges and beam bridges. Some former road bridges have had their traffic diverted to alternative crossings and have become pedestrian bridges; examples in the UK include The Iron Bridge at Ironbridge, Shropshire, the Old Bridge at Pontypridd and Windsor Bridge at Windsor, Berkshire.
Most footbridges are equipped with guard rails to reduce the risk of pedestrians falling. Where they pass over busy roads or railways, they may also include a fence or other such barrier to prevent pedestrians from jumping, or throwing projectiles onto the traffic below.
- The Bank Bridge and the Bridge of Four Lions in Saint Petersburg
- The Capilano Suspension Bridge in British Columbia
- The Chain of Rocks Bridge near St. Louis, Missouri
- The Davenport Skybridge in Davenport, Iowa
- The Esplanade Riel in Winnipeg, Manitoba
- The Gateshead Millennium Bridge
- The Goodwill Bridge in Brisbane, Australia
- The Jade Belt Bridge in the Summer Palace in Beijing
- The Kingsgate Bridge in Durham, England
- The Millennium Bridge and the high-level walkways in Tower Bridge in London
- The Newport Southbank Bridge between Newport, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio
- The Pont des Arts in Paris
- The Ponte Milvio in Rome
- The Ponte Sant'Angelo in Rome
- The Pushkinsky and Bogdan Khmelnitsky Pedestrian bridges in Moscow
- The Corktown Footbridge in Ottawa
- The Rolling Bridge at Paddington Basin, London
- The Southbank footbridge in Southbank, Victoria
- The Shelby Street Bridge in Nashville, Tennessee
- The Tournament Bridge
- The pedestrian walkway over the Tropicana - Las Vegas Boulevard intersection in Las Vegas, Nevada
- The Waco Suspension Bridge in Waco, Texas
- The Webb bridge in Melbourne Docklands
- The Walnut Street Bridges in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Chattanooga, Tennessee
- The Willimantic Footbridge in Willimantic, Connecticut
It was originally usual for passengers to cross from one railway platform to another by stepping over the tracks, but from the mid-nineteenth century onwards safety has demanded the provision of a footbridge (or underpass) at busier places.