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Destructor Bridge

Photo: COWI
The intriguingly named Destructor Bridge replaces the original bridge which connected the city’s recycling yard with the "Destructor" incinerator on the opposite side of the river.
The new 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 and replaces the original single lane bridge.

The design needed to maintain a respectful recognition of the heritage of the surrounding architecture - in particular, to remain sympathetic to the nearby Grade II listed Victoria suspension bridge. Working closely with Knight Architects, the final form adopted for the bridge is a 48m long tied arch bridge with a single eccentric arch on one side, supporting a composite deck formed by two longitudinal box girders and transverse steel cross girders. The tied arch structural system meant that the bridge could be assembled as a complete unit on the south side of the river, where there was just enough available space, and launched across the river in a single operation.

This design took specific constraints and characteristics of the site into
account, including very specific functional cross section requirements;
complex land boundary interfaces; shallow depth to respect road levels and navigational clearances; proximity of existing gas and sewer utilities close to the bridge and minimum working clearances around the adjacent National Grid compound.

Additional important design considerations included safety of pedestrians
and cyclists both on and under the bridge, the desire to create a pleasant environment for users to enjoy views of and from the bridge, maximising transparency for along-river views, scope for off-site assembly, and temporary works in the river.

LAST UPDATED: 31.07.2017