A DESIGN for a futuristic looking new footbridge to span Newstead Road in Weymouth will go on display this week.

People can view the plan at Weymouth Outdoor Education Centre in Knightsdale Road on Tuesday from 4pm to 7pm and Wednesday from 10am to 4pm.

The structure was designed by Brighton-based artist Bruce Williams –who earlier this year worked with schoolchildren and held a public open studio to gather concepts from local people for the bridge’s design.

A Dorset County Council spokesman said Mr Williams has been working closely with the authority’s engineers for several months.

Mr Williams and the council’s engineers will be available to answer questions on the design at the meetings at the outdoor centre.

Dorset County Council’s cabinet member for transport, Peter Finney, said: “This has been a great opportunity to blend artistic elements into a local landmark and make sure that the new bridge is something for residents, walkers and cyclists to be proud of.

“The bridge will not only complete the walking and cycling link between Weymouth and Portland, it will also become the centrepiece of the Rodwell Trail.”

Sustainable transport charity Sustrans is funding the work, along with the county council, as part of its nationwide Connect2 scheme.

The scheme aims to create networks for everyday journeys made by people on foot or by bike and are being funded by a £50 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

Dorset area manager for Sustrans Kevin Humphreys said: “We are thrilled that the bridge design plans have had so much input from the local community.”

Visitors to the exhibitions at the outdoor centre will also have their chance to vote for three local figures to be immortalised in a new bench on the Rodwell Trail as part of the scheme.

The life-size figures will be cut into weathered steel as part of a ‘portrait bench’ where people can stop and rest on their journey.

The bridge is due to be in place by next August.

Mr Williams’s design work is being funded by Arts Council England South West, Weymouth and Portland Partnership, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Dorset County Council.

Sustrans’s Connect2 scheme won £50million from the Big Lottery Fund’s Living Landmarks: The People’s Millions as a result of a public vote televised on ITV1 in December 2007.