Castleford Bridge, West Yorkshire
This dramatic S-shaped bridge across a weir was part of the regeneration of the Yorkshire town, and featured in Channel 4’s Kevin McCloud and the Big Town Plan. Alan Baxter worked closely with McDowell + Benedetti to ensure that the structure can withstand high flood levels while remaining light and elegant. Curved box section beams integrated with benches on the deck give the bridge strength and create the illusion of a particularly slender structure without interrupting its flowing lines. It has four slender spans supported by elegant steel “arm” supports, carefully integrated with the desired profile. The principal beams are placed in alternating asymmetrical positions within the deck structure to help balance the torsional forces generated in the main spans. Shallow cantilevers, tapering towards their tips, support the edges of the deck and produce an edge profile of minimal depth, further accentuating the “delicate” nature of the bridge. The project won an ACE Award for Engineering Excellence.