The atmospheric views on the Hadrian's Wall Path

River Irthing footbridge - something special

18th August 2015

I know that the River Irthing footbridge, sandwiched between Willowford farm and Birdoswald Roman Fort, is both a landmark and a talking point among many Trail walkers.  The bridge is very special to me: it was not only the largest single item of infrastructure to design and install along the Trail in the 1990s but it also presented what seemed at the time to be an unique set of challenges.  The site is surrounded by Roman archaeology, the river is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the change in levels between the Birdoswald and Willowford sides gave the bridge designers something to think about. 

To cut a long story short the project took almost two years but we had the pleasure of working with architect Chris Rainford from the Napper Partnership in Newcastle and Ove Arup, their partner engineers.  They interpreted our brief and delivered what has turned out to be a multi award-winning structure.  From the moment we saw Chris' concept pencil drawing we just knew that it was going to work.  Chris was afterwards very complimentary when he said that the success of the project was due to the quality of the brief but there was clearly more to it than that and it was plain to see that the site required a bespoke solution.  Please judge for yourselves. 

Dave

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