Bermuda Bridges move to detailed design phase following the public information session

27 September 2018
Outline designs for twin replacement bridges linking Bermuda’s airport to the rest of the islands have been published following the public information session. Detailed designs for the bridges will now be drawn up over the next 6-9 months.
Proposed bascule bridge, Bermuda

Proposed bascule bridge, Bermuda

Contact

Peter Curran. Ramboll

Peter Curran

Spearhead Director, Major Crossings, UK
T: +44 7736 497 481
Steve Thompson. Ramboll

Steve Thompson

Director, Bridges
T: +44 23 8081 7500

Construction is expected to begin in Summer 2019, with completion anticipated by 2021.

The bridges are needed to replace the two ageing crossings that have connected L. F. Wade International Airport with capital city Hamilton to the west and the town of St. Georges to the east for over 50 years. In December 2017, Ramboll (lead consultant), Knight Architects and Eadon Consulting won the contract to deliver full design services for the two replacement bridges. The feasibility options were submitted to the Government of Bermuda in summer 2018, and on 26th September the project team’s designs were approved by the Government.

Swing Bridge, which currently joins St George’s Harbour with the west of the island is a critical link for both motor vehicles and marine traffic, and will be replaced by a bascule bridge with a distinctive curved soffit, providing a 22m clear channel for shipping access to St George’s harbour. The replacement Longbird bridge will be a 54m fixed twin arch bridge. Each will allow two lanes of traffic with separated lanes for cyclists and pedestrians. In both cases the existing strategic crossings will remain fully operational while the new structures are completed.

The bridges are quite different in design and function from each other, however their design follows a set of overarching visual characteristics that will define the crossings as a family. Each bridge has a curvaceous and flowing appearance, defined by a small number of continuous edge curves. Both bridges will be finished in a pale grey (“papyrus white”), with soft tones of orange or pink to accentuate the forms. The mix of white and pastel colours references the distinctive palette typical of buildings throughout Bermuda.

As well as an aesthetically pleasing appearance the curved design minimises the collection of water on the bridges, an important factor in resisting the corrosive effects of the tropical maritime climate.

Steve Thompson, Director of Bridges at Ramboll, commented: “The positive response to the designs at the public information session is excellent news. The bridges successfully address the challenges created by a corrosive climate while delivering a superb aesthetic, which is great news for everyone on the island or visiting the island.”

Martin Knight, Director at Knight Architects, said: “These bridges, so vital in the daily lives of Bermudians, will also form distinctive landmarks to people arriving at the international airport and have been conceived to make a positive contribution to the tourism identity of this extraordinary place.”

The team

The highly-experienced design team has collaborated on many bridge projects and between them is responsible for several award-winning movable structures, including the Twin Sails Bridge, Poole (UK), Media City, Salford (UK), Gateshead Millennium Bridge (UK), Lower Hatea Crossing (NZ) and Merchant Square Bridge (UK).

 

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