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A win for Destructor Bridge

Photo: COWI

Destructor Bridge in Bath has won the Vehicle Bridges category at this year's Structural Awards, hosted by The Institution of Structural Engineers.

Destructor Bridge

Designed by COWI with Knight Architects, and constructed by Britannia Construction, the intriguingly named Destructor Bridge is so called because it replaces the original bridge that was built to connect the city's recycling yard with the "Destructor" incinerator on the opposite side of the river.

The bridge is a two lane, multi-functional urban highway bridge commissioned as part of the Western Riverside development in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath. It provides much needed improved access across the River Avon to a new 2000+ home development area, replacing the original single lane 19th century riveted Warren truss girder bridge which was originally built further downstream and moved here in 1905.

Project team members from Knight Architects, Crest Nicholson and Britannia Construction joined COWI on stage to accept the award in front of over 400 industry professionals at the ceremony, held at The Brewery in London on Friday 17 November.

"We are honoured to accept this Structural Award for Destructor Bridge, a project which has already had a positive impact on the local community." said David MacKenzie, Executive Director at COWI.

"It's great that all the hard work the team has brought to this project has been recognised by structural engineering experts across the industry.

"The Structural Awards pride themselves on celebrating structural engineering excellence across the globe, and I am very proud of the teams involved in both Destructor Bridge for winning in their category, and Inner Harbour Bridge for being shortlisted in the Pedestrian Bridges category. My congratulations go to everyone involved in both of these excellent projects."


The Structural Awards

The Structural Awards celebrate the role of structural engineers as innovative, creative design professionals and to showcase the world's cutting edge engineering projects.

The new judging process for 2017 saw a panel of eminent judges independently looking at and awarding points to all entries. The highest scoring entries were then evaluated by a 'sitting judging panel' which established the shortlist. After ensuring no conflict of interest existed between a judge and any shortlisted project, the final panel selected the category winners.

The judges based their decisions on the structural engineering excellence of the project; the creativity, innovation, elegance and detailing within the structural design, alongside the sustainable techniques and technologies incorporated and of course, the value of the project - both in terms of economic viability and value for money in the structural solution, as well as non-financial indicators of value.

Speaking of Destructor Bridge, the judges said:

"The Destructor Bridge is an understated but expertly considered, detailed and executed vehicle, pedestrian and cycle bridge. The engineers have produced a bridge of delightful simplicity and technical accomplishment that serves as a fine example of how to succeed in bridge design."

Another COWI project, The Inner Harbour Bridge in Copenhagen, was also shortlisted in the Pedestrian Bridges category. You can find out more about this project here.

The Project Team

COWI is a civil, structural and geotechnical engineering consultancy with extensive knowledge and experience in bridge, tunnel, marine and specialist infrastructure. Our passion and expertise enables us to deliver technically excellent, value engineered solutions.


Knight Architects is an architectural consultancy specialising exclusively in the field of bridge and infrastructure design, where it is recognised as a market leader within the UK and internationally.


Crest Nicholson has been building new homes for over 50 years and is firmly established as a leading developer with a passion for not just building homes, but creating vibrant sustainable communities.


Britannia is a specialist construction and civil engineering principal contractor with over 50 years in the industry, focusing on the retail, commercial and industrial sectors, infrastructure, highway works, environmental management, leisure, education, public realm and mixed use development.


LAST UPDATED: 20.11.2017