The Tram Bridge Making Press

The Tram Bridge Making Press

Published on May 17, 2024

Earlier in the year we were thrilled that DYSE were appointed to be the designer of the superstructure of the reconstruction of The Tram Bridge. We are supporting Billington-based steelwork fabricator Harrisons Engineering who are providing a design and build service to Principal Contractor Eric Wright who are headquartered locally in Preston. The funding for the bridge is coming from part of Preston city’s Levelling Up funding.

The bridge has a fascinating history. It was originally built to carry a horse and cart trackway for coal waggons to be delivered to Preston, from the canal at Walton Summit into Preston. It was delivered initially as a timber bridge when John Rennie’s 1800 ambitious intial design for an aqueduct was deemed too costly. After separate deck and pier reconstructions, the bridge is now a concrete bridge, but has now been condemned due to deteriorating condition. The bridge is much loved by the locals. Indeed, the Friends of the Old Tramroad Bridge group has 2500+ members.

It an honour to be able to be trusted with the design of a bridge that is so loved by the locals of Preston. It is also a testament to DYSE’s building reputation that we are able to now secure such projects. DYSE has been delivering a number of footbridge, road bridge and vehicle bridges for specialist bridge builders in recent years.

The bridge was proposed to be four separate independent spans but our idea for a continuous bridge structure to provide a stiffer, more efficient and more durable construction helped to secure the job at tender stage. The bridge is now fully designed and Category 3 checked and is going through final assurance process with the local authority.

The bridge enabling works is already underway and visualisations of the concept have been circulating in the media:

The design has been fronted by our inspiring Senior Engineer Neus Ripoll with support from Graduate Engineer Fin Duffy won the audience vote at the Young Designer’s Competition at IABSE Future of Design Manchester 2024 on his use of parametric modelling for the bridge. Technical Director Barry Davies has delivered the full BIM for the bridge.

The design is being checked by DYSE collaborator Cake Engineering.

Credit to Preston based architect Studio John Bridge for the visualisation used in this article.