Potential bridge design video

A simulation of the potential masonry arch bridge design was created in time for our open day. You can view the video of the bridge on our You Tube channel.


Bridge plans make the news

We had a successful open day on Saturday 15 March 2014 at the Engineers House in Clifton, introducing the bridge proposals  to the local community. We had a lot of interest (around 100 people turned up) and will collate all our feedback in the next month.

You can view the plans as they were featured in the media here (ITV, BBC and Bristol Post).




Plans for bridge unveiled at public open day

Plans unveiled for new bridge

View the plans for the new bridge

Our public open day will reveal the plans for the masonry bridge over Bridge Valley Road. Come along tomorrow,  Saturday 15th March, to see a 3D fly through and chat to the scientists and community experts involved in the project.

Saturday 15th March 2014
10am – 12 noon
Engineers’ House, The Promenade, Clifton Down, Bristol, BS8 3NB

You can read the Bristol Post article about the open day here.

Volunteer help needed

If you are a professional able to offer help with the following aspects of the project we would love to hear from you:

  • Ecology survey
  • Arboricultural survey
  • Landscape assessment

Also, if you are interested and willing to help organise talks/events please get in touch. More information on contributing to the project can be found on our Volunteer page.

Bridge Open Day – tell your friends!

UWE Bristol is informing the public about our Open Day on Saturday 15th March.

The open day will present ideas for a traditional masonry arch bridge over Bridge Valley Road, and will be held at the Engineers’ House, The Promenade, Clifton Down, Bristol, BS8 3NB  10:00 – 12:00. Everyone is welcome to look at the plans, designs, give feedback and find out more about how to get involved.

Researchers from UWE Bristol have worked voluntarily for over a year with partners from the Friends of the Downs and Avon Gorge (FOD+AG) to help realise a project to build a stone arch bridge for pedestrians and cyclists, linking the Downs either side of Bridge Valley Road. The proposed bridge is to be over 50 metres long to span across the valley, will link two existing footpaths, integrate a separate cycling lane and fit in with the existing architecture in Clifton.

Dr Adrienne Tomor, who has spent her academic life studying masonry arch bridges, says, “This project is a unique opportunity to create a new legacy for Bristol that would link traditional bridge building techniques with modern infrastructure. Masonry arch bridges have been built all over the world for over 1,000 years and have stood the test of time. They are sustainable, efficient and beautiful. The bridge we are hoping to build should last over 300 years, should not be much more expensive than a concrete or steel equivalent and will be highly economic in the long-term.

“We are not only proposing to build a bridge for the Bristol Green Capital year 2015 but to inspire people for years to come. We would like to use this opportunity for people to join in, experiencing the excitement that bridge builders used to experience centuries ago as they faced various challenges. We are intending to use traditional techniques with modern technology whenever possible, for example for stone cutting, transport and lifting. It is not intended to be a commercial project and we are keen to get as much involvement from the wider community as possible.

“The initial proposal went to pre-planning application to Bristol City Council before Christmas 2013 and received a favourable response. The project also received support from the Downs Committee that represents Bristol City Council and the Merchant Venturers. At the moment we are putting the planning application together and decided to organise an open day to provide information about the proposals and gather ideas from the wider community.

“The current plans include the potential to create a range of training and apprenticeship programs for young (and not so young) people to learn about traditional building techniques and engineering skills that may in turn lead to the creation of a new specialist industry sector for Bristol. The project will also include a live learning opportunity bringing history, heritage, arts and engineering sectors together, opportunities for a wide range of interest groups to take part in the project and help bring it to fruition. This is a unique opportunity; it is up to us what we make out of it.”

Jack Penrose from FODAG, commented, “FOD+AG is keen to promote greater pedestrian access to the Downs and Avon Gorge, particularly for children, the disadvantaged and the elderly. We are very supportive of the proposals put forward by UWE and hope to make the project into an inspirational opportunity for people.”

Surveying the valley

The valley around Bridge Valley Road is over 50m wide.

The valley around Bridge Valley Road is over 50m wide.

Surveying of the small valley around Bridge Valley Road was carried out in autumn 2013 to identify possible locations for the bridge. As it turned out the valley was wider than we thought, over 50 metres!

We are currently engaging with professionals to carry out ecology and landscape surveys as was requested by the pre-application response, to make sure that there are no protected animals or plants near the proposed bridge location.

Community open day in March

Join us on Saturday 15th March to find out more about plans for the bridge!
Our bridge experts will be on hand to explain more about the project and answer any questions. You can also have your say on a new community outdoor exhibition space proposed as part of the scheme.

Saturday 15th March 2014

10am – 12 noon

Engineers’ House, The Promenade, Clifton Down, Bristol, BS8 3NB

Bridge approved in principle

The Downs Committee has agreed, in principle, with a stone pedestrian bridge being built over Bridge Valley Road. The bridge will also include a cycle lane to connect up to the city’s cycle path network.

The plans have also been put to the Bristol Council’s planning committee and highways  department for pre-application approval, and neither has offered any objection. The next stage is to consult the local community ahead of a full planning application.

Read more: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Plans-pedestrian-bridge-wins-support/story-20097825-detail/story.html#ixzz2mWH6l0Qm