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Delivering Bridge Projects with Environmental Knowledge and Discipline

Delivering Bridge Projects with Environmental Knowledge and Discipline

The nature of Britain’s topography means that bridges over water are a critical component of our country’s infrastructure. A vital artery for the environment and economy, they play an important role in connecting communities, goods, and services. 

Leading wet civil engineering firm Land & Water prides itself on having the specialist knowledge to deliver works where strong environmental knowledge and discipline is required. Despite the challenges of increased health and safety measures, access constraints and sensitive habitats, Land & Water prides itself on successfully delivering high profile, and often high risk, bridge projects. 

The company recently opened its new regional hub in Newcastle upon Tyne, as part of a period of growth which sees its offering extending north. With new contracts in the region, this growth consolidates Land & Water’s place within the northern infrastructure sector and continues to show it is truly outward-looking and at the cutting-edge of the civil engineering industry. 

From a multi-million pound redevelopment at Tees Dock and the construction of an innovative three-way footbridge in Milton Keynes, to the installation of a footbridge over the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, Land & Water has continued to trade strongly and deliver projects that will benefit the local community and environment. 

PD Ports

Soon after Land & Water opened its new regional hub in Newcastle upon Tyne, it secured the major multi-million-pound infrastructure contract with PD Ports to upgrade Teesport Ro-Ro Number Two.

The project, which commenced in February 2022, saw Land & Water use its specialist plant and marine expertise to demolish and rebuild the Ro-Ro Linkspan bridge at Tees Dock. These works will join the firm’s expansive repertoire in the North which includes a framework contract with the Environment Agency and more.

Land & Water’s Contracts Manager, Andy McBride, said: “Working with PD Ports to redevelop the Ro-Ro and allow larger vessels to berth at Tees Dock is incredibly significant for Land & Water.

“We were proud to be involved in the construction of this new Ro-Ro by using our marine civil engineering capabilities to strengthen the position of Teesport as the UK’s Northern Gateway for international trade.”

Polson Bridge

As part of the Environment Agency’s ongoing work at a weir on the River Tamar, Land & Water is completing a six-week project at Polson Bridge, a historic spot on the Devon and Cornwall border. 

For centuries, Polson Bridge was the main entry point into Cornwall and, since the addition of Launceston’s dual carriageway bypass, is now just a few hundred metres from the current A30 route. The work involves the rebuilding of a failed stone wall, dewatering of the working area and important focus on control of the water quality throughout.

Fiona Moore, Divisional Business Manager at Land & Water, said: “The works will improve water quality and help with flood defence for years to come. Land & Water will be working collaboratively with a new Project Manager within the Environment Agency to ensure procedures are adhered to and the surrounding area is protected as much as possible.”

Campbell Wharf Marina project

Land & Water installed an innovative three-way footbridge at Campbell Wharf Marina in Milton Keynes, as part of Crest Nicholson’s new housing development. Enhancing local networks, the 35m long, three-span footbridge, fabricated by SH Structures, connects the housing development and marina with the Grand Union Canal.

This project, which took place over 45 weeks saw Land & Water develop the marina’s full design, including all service points, a car park and improved walkways and cycle paths, as well as carrying out earthworks to form the marina basin and reinforcing concrete retaining walls. 

The bridge, which is aligned with the marina entrance and crosses the waterway at right angles is extremely unique in its design, made out of weathering steel with a laser cut steel balustrade system and featuring panels cut to resemble riverside reeds and grasses. This is one of Land & Water’s most bespoke projects as the deck of the bridge also branches in two parts to form a Y-shape.

Goodman’s Yard

The Goodman’s Yard project saw the installation of a footbridge over The Worcester and Birmingham Canal. A vital connection for the community, the bridge connects student accommodation, a Sainsbury’s supermarket, and Selly Oak Shopping Park to Bristol Road, which runs alongside the Canal.

As the design and build contractor, Land & Water worked tirelessly to deliver the overall vision of the project, in collaboration with architects Piper Whitlock and consulting engineers Tony Gee & Partners. 

The approach ramps caused various difficulties for the engineers during the on-site works. Committed where possible to engage with local contractors and suppliers, Land & Water worked closely with local engineering contractor, JOS Structures, to design a radical approach ramp. As part of this solution, over 1,000m3 of concrete was used to form the ramps and bridge approaches. The bridge itself was fabricated off-site by another local business, SHS Structures, before being lifted into place. 

Land & Water’s Managing Director, Kevin Kirkland, says: “As a company we pride ourselves on being innovative and finding solutions to complex access problems which is why we are often the chosen contractor when it comes to constructing and installing bridges over water.”


Another example of connecting local communities whilst working with sensitive environmental factors, Land & Water installed a footbridge over the River Thames. As part of its works with another housing developer, Berkeley Homes, the bridge now connects Ray Mill Island with a housebuilders development at Taplow in Berkshire.

Due to the complex riverside location of the site, construction of the bridge from the land was not possible, meaning the project team had to install an extensive amount of piled foundations whilst reinforcing concrete abutments to support a statement bridge. 

This challenge was accentuated by the need to complete one of the abutments entirely from the water requiring specialist equipment, including pontoons and cranes specifically designed for the task.

The 40-tonne bridge was then delivered in pieces and assembled a mile down river.

Kevin Kirkland continues: “Finding solutions to complex access problems is a major reason why our customers come back to us time and time again.

“This project will always stand out in my memory. I will never forget floating a 40 tonne, fully built bridge up the River Thames. Most of all though is the fact that this project possibly would never have happened if we hadn’t been able to find such a creative solution.”

Bishopsford Bridge

Another high-risk test the Land & Water team faced within the past year was the demolition of Bishopsford Bridge in Mitcham, South London.

The project involved the Land & Water team carefully dismantling the partially collapsed, 200-year-old three arch bridge and adjoining footbridge, whilst maintaining the water flow of the River Wandle. 

Land & Water worked successfully with engineers Tony Gee & Partners to design a solution that stabilized the central arch of the bridge by filling it with concrete, before demolishing the arches to each side and then removing the central arch, using long reach excavators. This prevented the unintentional collapse of the damaged structure, which could have resulted in flooding. 

The already complex task was made even more challenging by the range of utilities which ran through the structure of the bridge, including gas pipes and broadband cabling. The team had to carefully extract each utility service and support them on a temporary gantry while the demolition work was in progress. 

About Land & Water

Land & Water is an award-winning inland waterway and coastal civil and environmental engineering company based in the UK. Throughout their 40-year history, their name has become synonymous with finding creative and effective solutions to complex challenges in the specialist environment where land and water meet. Often working in complex or sensitive habitats, their work is always completed with sympathy to the local surroundings, people, and the environment.