First new river crossing in Bath for a century

Features: Bath Quays Bridge

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A new crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists over the River Avon in Bath has been successfully lifted into place at Bath Quays.

Working in collaboration with Paris-based Marc Mimram Architecture et Associes, we have designed the first new bridge in central Bath for Bath & North East Somerset Council. The new 60-metre long and 140-tonne bridge will improve connectivity along the River Avon and is the first new river crossing point to be established in the city for 100 years. The Bath Quays Bridge paves a sustainable way-through for pedestrian and cyclists, that is both welcoming, useful, and enjoyable, and is an integral part of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s flagship Bath Quays regeneration project.

The two spans of Bath Quays Bridge were lifted into position in early November, bringing us another step closer to completion of this project, a European collaboration which all started with an international design competition back in 2015.

‘We are incredibly proud after such a long journey to finally see our bridge’s complex superstructure being lifted into place. When we started this project, we wanted to create an iconic landmark with a bridge that was both subtle, and respectful of Bath City’s heritage,’ said Steve Webb, Director at Webb Yates Engineers.

In order to create a low-lying structure, respectful of the heritage of the city and in response to the historical significance of water in its history, the bridge is made from gently undulating steel vierendeel trusses linked transversally by “t” shaped cross members supporting a natural timber deck. The deck curves both in plan and section, sinuously connecting desire lines and quietly gesturing to the River Avon below.

The bridge is composed of two spans, with the north abutment and central pier on piled foundations and the south abutment supported on a new flood defence wall. The north and south landings tie into planned developments known as Bath Quays that will see this area of Bath regenerated to create new homes and workspaces overlooking the river.

The bridge is planned to be completed 2021.

Photos: Bath Council, Matt Honey, Tim J Baker