Third Way Bridge, Taunton, UK


Photo Credit: COWI, Moxon Architects

Project Data:


Somerset County Council


River Tone in Taunton

Service Dates:

2007 - 2011


Conceptual design, detailed design, construction support

Design Team:

COWI (Flint & Neill), Moxon Architects


Galliford Try, Mabey Bridge

Project Description:

Somerset County Council requested an alternative design to improve plans for a new crossing of the river Tone at a sensitive site close to the town centre in Taunton. The result is this elegantly simple award-winning 36m tied-arch structure with two filigree triangular section steel arches supporting a steel deck.

The bridge carries a highway with unsegregated cycleways between the arches, using an orthotropic steel deck supported by crossbeams at 3.2m centres. A segregated pedestrian timber walkway on each side is carried on cantilevers which taper to a slim edge fascia emphasising the slenderness of the design and minimising the visual mass of the bridge. A fan of stainless steel hangers attach the longitudinal girders to the arch to complete the composition, and a set of timber benches in each footway provide resting places from which to enjoy the river views.

One of the reasons for adopting the tied arch design was that the bridge could then be assembled as a complete unit immediately adjacent to the bridge and installed in a single operation using a very large 600T crawler crane. This dramatic event attracted a large crowd on the day, including many school children, and the bridge was opened to traffic in September 2011.


Photo Credit: COWI, Moxon Architects


Photo Credit: COWI, Moxon Architects


Photo Credit: COWI, Moxon Architects

Note: The design of this project was carried out while working with COWI (previously Flint & Neill) and it is illustrated here with permission.