Worcestershire County Council | Hams Way, Worcester 2019-2020

Winner Structural Steel Design Awards 2021
Winner Bridge Design Awards 2021 (<£5m)
Winner Scottish Design Award 2021

Designed in collaboration with COWI and Burroughs the Hams Way Footbridge forms part of the important Worcester Southern Link Road Phase 4 project and replaces a signal-controlled pedestrian crossing across the A4440, one of Worcester’s busiest roads carrying more than 30,000 vehicles each day. With the aim of improving sustainable transport links in the area, the new footbridge improves National Cycle Network Route 46 from Worcester towards the Malvern Hills by separating cyclists and pedestrians from traffic at the busy Powick Roundabout.

Referencing the visual language of other footbridges in the region, the design features an arch main span and a 42m-long bowstring truss, supported on leaning concrete piers. At the ends of the arches, the top and bottom chords meet at a tight curve, masking the support bearings to give the impression that the bridge is floating above the piers, achieving the client’s aspiration for a lightweight aesthetic. The main span is reached via multi-span approach ramps as well as a staircase to the north.

Manufactured offsite for a faster construction time to minimise traffic disruption, the lightweight steel main span was developed so it could be easily installed using a self-propelled modular transporter. Hams Way Footbridge is an excellent example of how a conventional overbridge typology can be significantly improved through careful detailing and consideration of composition and proportions.

"An excellent example of how inspired architectural details can create a ‘statement’ bridge. Simply rotating the square cords through 45 degrees has produced a dramatic shadow line. This, coupled with clever detailing at the supports, gives a pleasing slender floating expression to the bridge."

"Really good detailing of what is a fairly simple form. Very impressive superstructure..."