What’s in a name.

Elsewhere on the Bath Newseum ‘front page’ you will see stories and pictures relating to the successful laying of the first new crossing point over the River Avon in Bath for a century – which is now in place at Bath Quays.

Now B&NES has issued its own account of the event and there’s news too of how you can get involved in giving this new pedestrian and cycle bridge a name.

The statement reads:

“This weekend (November 7 and 8) two spans of the 60 metre long, 140-tonne Bath Quays Bridge were lifted into place using a 600-tonne crawler crane.

Courtesy of B&NES Press Office

The bridge spans arrived in the UK in May in four pieces after having been fabricated in Belgium and were then assembled into two spans on site, ready for the lift to take place ahead of the bridge’s completion in 2021.

The first span, which sits above the north bank of the River Avon, was lifted into position on Saturday morning with the second, which spans the river, following on Sunday evening during a full closure of the river.

Drone image from B&NES Press Office.

The whole operation was completed to programme and the construction team will now begin the process of dismantling the crane and carrying out the finishing works to the bridge. These include installation of the wooden deck, parapets, handrails and weights that will dampen the motion of the bridge when it opens to the public.

With a height of around 80m, the crawler crane was put together over a period of three days by the crane team from UK crane supplier Sarens using a smaller, 135-tonne mobile service crane.

Removal of the crane from site will allow two-lane running on the A367 to resume following a night-time traffic diversion, currently planned for November 23 and 24. The towpath will remain closed until the bridge works are completed.

Bath Quays Bridge will be a route for pedestrians and cyclists and will provide greater connectivity in the city. It is an integral part of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s flagship Bath Quays regeneration project.

Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Housing, Planning and Economic Development, said: “The new bridge is a stunning addition to Bath and will make it much easier to get around our city by foot or by bike. The lift has been a complicated operation and I’m delighted that the superstructure is now safely in place. Thank you to all our partners for their work on this remarkable achievement.

“The development of the Bath Quays area is crucial to the recovery from the impact of COVID-19 as it will boost business, skills and job opportunities in Bath and the wider region as well as provide much-needed homes in the heart of the city.

Bath Quays will create up to 2,700 new jobs, space for local and new businesses, at least 130 new homes, a waterside park and new cafés and restaurants. The Bath Quays development is part-funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund and administered by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA). Find out more about the development here

West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “I’m really pleased to see such a significant step being taken made with this development, which will help support our region’s recovery from the economic impacts of Covid-19. The new bridge, funded through the Local Growth Fund, supports my ambition to see more people cycling and walking in the West of England.

“The installation is a welcome addition to the Bath Quays development and will connect up more business space for commuters when the bridge opens next year.”

Prof Steve West, Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It’s brilliant that the Local Growth Fund is helping us to take a further stride forward with this key stage in the development of the Bath Quays site.

“This fantastic new bridge is another piece of the plan to bring communities closer together in the future.”

Later this month, residents will be invited to put forward their suggestions for a name for the bridge. A panel of nine community representatives will compile a shortlist with the best two submissions being put to a public vote.”

For your further information.

  1. Paris based engineering and architectural consultancy Marc Mimram designed the bridge after winning an international design competition commissioned by the council in 2015 and securing the largest number of votes in a public poll. The detailed design and engineering checks required for the complex structure involved a number of engineers across the region.
  2. The superstructure was built in Belgium by steelwork fabricator Victor Buyck.  A number of UK-based contractors took part in the procurement process, but Victor Buyck was appointed in January 2019 because the company presented the best expertise, resources and capacity to make the complex structure to a high quality, therefore offering the best value to the council.
  3. No1 Bath Quays will be the first newly built office building in Bath for over 25 years. Once completed it will provide 45,000 sq ft of exceptional Grade A office accommodation over five open plan floors with basement parking, cycle storage, showers and lockers.  No1 Bath Quays is now being actively marketed with a number of prospective tenants showing interest, demonstrating the continued demand for premium office space in the city even in challenging times.
  4. Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth. By 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund.