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St Philips Footbridge

Bristol, UK

View from walkway of the whole footbridge crossing the River Avon in Bristol

St Philips Footbridge

Bristol, UK


Bristol City Council


2015 - 2019

Structural Engineer

Jacobs (CH2M)




SH Structures


Offsite Construction Award 2020

Bridge Awards 2021

A first step towards positive identity and regeneration

The historic Temple Meads railway station in Bristol has seen rail-related activities for almost 180 years, however much of the land is no longer in use. Changing Temple Island into a new neighbourhood is one of the city’s most important urban development projects.

The new St Philips footbridge spans the River Avon, improving access to Temple Island, which is surrounded by the watercourse, two railway lines and a highway. The 50m-span and 4m-wide footbridge resolves a complex crossing problem: the connection of two banks with a significant level difference.

The bridge is a forked steel beam with a ramp for disabled people and cyclists and a staircase on the pedestrian ‘desire line’. A holistic architectural, functional and structural approach results in a bridge that is compact and clearly legible for users while being architecturally distinctive.

The bridge is planned as a catalyst for urban regeneration, setting the new quality benchmark for the future development of the area.

Abutment, edge beam and parapet with river below of footbridge crossing the River Avon
Steps, parapet and handrail of St Philip's footbridge in Bristol
Footbridge in distance crossing River Avon in Bristol

“St Philip’s Footbridge is a brilliant example of how aesthetic, structural and functional needs have been simultaneously met by thoughtful and painstaking design to create one of Bristol’s most beautiful bridges. To a setting which is rather a mish-mash, it brings a quiet, still point of modernist order. Ten out of ten”

– Jeff Lucas, “From Brycgstow to Bristol in 45 Bridges”