Kirkhaugh Pedestrian Footbridge – Northumberland, England


Working on behalf of the Northumberland County Council, Beaver Bridges Ltd were tasked with the design, supply, and installation of a replacement footbridge, because the original four span bridge structure which spanned over the South Tyne river was suffering from catastrophic damage due to a 2018 flood event. The new scheme consisted of a two-span superstructure that was designed by Beaver Bridges Ltd, with the new substructures being designed by the client. Due to the location of the footbridge being within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the bridge design had to be sensitive to the local area, whilst considering the environment, with the added challenge that due to location, access to the site was restricted. With all these factors considered and the new bridge consisting of 2 No. spans, with each span have bearing centres of 21.6m the Beaver Bridges Design solution was to supply the bridge structure in kit form with 21.6m spans being spliced at three points to allow the bridge components to be delivered to site. Due to the access route, Beaver Bridges utilised rear steer trailers to navigate the tight twisting rural road into site. To reflect the location and surrounding area, Beaver Bridges Ltd utilised a hard wood timber deck and parapet to allow the new bridge to blend into the local environment, with the steel being galvanised with the consideration of its location and maintenance being a factor.

Once on site the bridge spans were built by the Beaver Bridges Site Technicians on area of prepared ground, with the operatives taking care to ensure that the designed pre-camber was accommodated and built into the bridge prior to lifting the spans into their final position. Working with NCC, optimised crane position was found, bearing in mind access restrictions and river levels resulting in a efficient lifting of the structure into their final position(s). Despite the challenges presented with the location of the bridge, the overall result achieved is a credit to all involved. The bridge provides a safe passage for walkers who can enjoy the Isaac’s Tea Trail, Long Distance Paths and natural beauty over the North Pennines. The existence of the trail was a major factor in the decision to rebuild the bridge and is a visitor attraction in that area.


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