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Abbey-Chesterton Footbridge

Cambridge, UK

Abbey-Chesterton Footbridge

Cambridge, UK


Cambridgeshire County Council


2015 - 2021

Design Team

Knight Architects, Skanska (previously Atkins)


SH Structures


Structural Steel Design Awards 2022 (Shortlisted)

A distinctive dialogue between bridges and river

The foot and cycle bridge across the River Cam in Cambridge forms a link in the new Chisholm Trail, designed to expand the capacity of the city cycle network to the north-east.

The bridge takes the form of an ornate lattice U-beam, with a structural pattern wrapped around the deck. Chisholm Trail cyclists enjoy a wide deck whose inclined parapet follows a gently curving profile. The intersecting ribs create a pattern of ‘picture window’ openings through which bridge users can enjoy views of the river and Ditton Meadows.

Planted abutments and areas of seating at the bridge ends provide opportunities to stop, rest and enjoy the landscape. The approach ramps are designed as earth embankments, screened by natural planting and forming a visual and habitat connection with the beautiful meadow landscape.

A ‘Cambridge Blue’ colour finish complements the adjoining historic railway bridge and is a fitting reference to the cultural and sporting context of the river, where the bridges form a key landmark in the annual 'Bumps' university rowing races.

“There is contrast between the new bridge and the railway bridge which enhances their appearance. I'd never thought about the reflections of the old bridge in the river, but the reflections of both create a magnificent picture.”

– Jim Chisholm, Sustainable Transport Campaigner