Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a rope suspension bridge near Ballintoy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny Carrick Island. The site is owned and maintained by the National Trust, spans twenty metres and is thirty metres above the rocks below. Today the bridge is mainly a tourist attraction, with 247,000 visitors in 2009. The bridge is now open all year round. An admission fee is charged for crossing the bridge.
Carrick-a-rede means 'rock in the road'. It is thought salmon fishermen have been erecting bridges to the island for over 350 years. It has taken many forms over the years. In the 1970s it featured only a single handrail and large gaps between the slats. A version of the bridge, tested up to ten tonnes, was built with the help of local climbers and abseilers in 2000. A subsequent design was engineered in 2004 and offers visitors and fishermen alike a much safer passage to the island.
The current wire rope and Douglas fir bridge was made by Heyn Construction in Belfast and erected early in 2008 at a cost of over £16,000. Although no one has fallen off the bridge, there have been many instances where visitors, unable to face the walk back across the bridge, have had to be taken off the island by boat.
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