Masonry arch bridge plans for Bristol Downs approved

Issue date: 14 July 2016

A senior lecturer at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is celebrating the planning decision today that has approved the building of a stone arch bridge that will link the Downs on either side of Bridge Valley Road.

Together with the Friends of the Downs and Avon Gorge (FOD+AG), Dr Adrienn Tomor has been developing the plans on a voluntary basis beyond her normal work at UWE Bristol over the past four years to help realise a project to build a stone arch bridge for pedestrians and cyclists.

The bridge will be over 50 metres long spanning across the valley, integrate a segregated footpath and cycle lane and create a canopy walk through the woodland as part of the unique circular walk around the Downs.

Dr Adrienn Tomor, an expert in masonry arch bridges, says, “We are delighted at the forward thinking decision by the planners and the support we received from various Bristol City Council departments. We are excited about the potential the project will bring to learn about ancient building techniques, get the community involved, create new jobs and involve arts and heritage.

“Masonry arch bridges have been built all over the world for over 2,000 years and have stood the test of time. They are the most sustainable forms of bridges and widely perceived as the most beautiful ones too.

“Approval of the plans represents a new era for building masonry arch bridges for the 21st century.

“The next task is to finalise the planning conditions with Bristol City Council and set up an independent charity for the construction. Fundraising will start after that.”

The initiative is not only about building a bridge over Bridge Valley Road, but about a much larger vision to leave a legacy in Bristol and be an inspiration for generations to come - not unlike the Clifton Suspension Bridge itself.

To find out more visit, the Bridge Valley Road stone bridge webpage:

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