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Dawlish rail resilience structures secure planning approval

28 September 2020

As part of Network Rail’s South West Rail Resilience Programme - established following the extreme weather event of 2014 - the last remaining section of the Dawlish Sea Wall has been granted planning permission. Two bridges, designed by Knight Architects and Arup, have been included in the scheme to sit alongside the Grade II listed Brunel Railway Station. The team worked to balance the requirements for a sensitive historic site with extreme wave loading constraints.

The Station Footbridge introduces a new accessible route across the platforms and is the first iteration of the “Ribbon” Footbridge Design developed with Network Rail. Adjustments to the design were required to address site conditions including using stainless steel as the main structure.

The Link Bridge will sit alongside the existing historic viaduct and will bridge the pedestrian promenade over the outlet of Dawlish Water. Wave testing was undertaken by the team in order to pursue as light a structure as possible. In contrast to the monumental 800m of new sea wall, this is the only section with open parapets, reducing visual intrusion on the site and promoting open views of the sea.