A bridge built in the Yorkshire Dales National Park that is believed to be the longest of its kind in the world has notched up its second national accolade in two months.
Far Moor bridge, which crosses the River Ribble near Selside, has won a ‘Judges’ Special Award’ in the British Construction Industry (BCI) 2011 awards –despite failing to win the category in which it was shortlisted.
Last month it was highly commended in the “structural” category of the Wood Awards, which aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation in wood and are sponsored by most of the UK’s leading organisations involved in wood marketing and education.
The timber bridge, which crosses the River Ribble near Selside, was a joint project by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and Natural England.
The Authority’s Pennine Bridleway Project Officer Peter Lambert, who received the BCI award at a ceremony in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, said: “Winning the award is fantastic and real recognition for all the hard work and dedication from all involved from the initial planning stages to the completed build.
“When we didn’t win the category in which we had been shortlisted, I thought ‘Oh well, it was good to see the project make it this far’.
“Then it came to the Judges’ Special Award, which had no shortlist, and they announced our project was a winner – it was bit of a shock.”
“The award goes to a UK or international building or civil engineering project of any size that the judges consider to be particularly inspirational in one or more aspects. The judges cited the bridge’s design in terms of how it fitted so well in to the landscape and how it allowed for such a build in a remote location with difficult access.”
Work began in July last year on the bridge and on a new path that forms part of a new bridleway from the B6479 road near the village to an existing track at Dalemire Barn and the Cam Road – a length of approximately 2.5km.
The bridge uses an innovative design developed by the Forestry Commission's Civil Engineering Design Team based near Edinburgh that involves short lengths of timber to create a bridge with three arches spanning 53 metres.
The main contractor for the bridge work was Houseman and Falshaw, based at Copgrove near Harrogate, and the main subcontractor was CTS Bridges of Huddersfield, who say it is the longest bridge of its kind in the world.
Marsden Agricultural and Environmental Services Ltd of Long Preston was appointed as the contractor for Far Moor common bridleway construction work for both sides of the river.
Malcolm Petyt (correct), the YDNPA’s Member Champion for Recreational Management, said: “The fact the bridge has been so highly placed in two national competitions is itself a recognition of its qualities. It will be an outstanding feature of the landscape of Upper Ribblesdale and an invaluable link for riders, bikers and walkers.”
Anna Righton, Natural England Pennine Bridleway’s project officer added; “This second accolade is fantastic news – we hope it will inspire horseriders, cyclists and walkers to explore and enjoy the 200-mile Pennine Bridleway National Trail when it opens next year.”
Picture shows left to right Graeme White, Senior Project Engineer with the Forestry Commission’s Civil Engineering Central Services, and Peter Lambert, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Pennine Bridleway Project Officer.