Reading's New Bridge Opens

A new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Thames opened on September 30.RBC Bridge 028

123 metres long, the landmark structure opens up a key new route for pedestrians and cyclists direct from Caversham into the Town Centre and Reading Station. On the northern side it links to the existing paths running through Christchurch Meadows. To the south an improved foot and cycle path connects, via Norman Place, onto Vastern Road.

The 39-metre mast was hoisted up in June. Other engineering highlights of the new structure include:

More than 455 tonnes of steel used

A 68 m river span weighing approximately 200 tonnes and supported by 14 pairs of cables, 

1,100 metres of reinforced cable attached to the main bridge mast, supporting eight separate steel sections

A 50 tonne mast sitting 39m above river level, supported on nine piles 750mm in diameter and 19 metres in length.

On a hot day, a mast that expands 3cm as it warms up.

A bridge deck which expands up approximately 6cm at the middle of its river span on a hot day.

A bridge deck is only 380mm deep - about the size of a car steering wheel

234 LED lights - 39 of which are colour changing - alongside its white LED walkway illuminating lighting

A hugely improved pedestrian and cycle footpath leading to the bridge on both sides of the ban

Two CCTV surveillance cameras located in Norman Place and Christchurch Meadows

The bridge was commisioned by Reading Borough Council. Tony Page, Reading Borough Council's Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Transport and Planning, said: "Now the bridge is complete I am sure that most people will agree this is a stunning new landmark for Reading, which will very quickly become a visitor destination in its own right. I am confident that the structure will soon become synonymous with Reading, much in the way the Green Park wind turbine and the Blade building has more recently.

"The new bridge creates an important new route for pedestrians and cyclists to and from Caversham into the Town Centre and Reading Station. Nearly half of all people coming into the town centre on a weekday morning do so by train or bus, with 35% walking or cycling. Cycle trips in particular have seen a big jump in the last two years and the creation of important new routes like this will be key to the process of providing sustainable travel choices for people."

Development and infrastructure consultancy Peter Brett Associates were responsible for the technical design of the bridge. PBA Partner Scott Witchalls said: "This has been a striking flagship project for Peter Brett Associates in our 50th year of operation, and we are proud to play such an important role in developing Reading's infrastructure. We hope that the new bridge is something that the local community will enjoy for years to come."

Local residents are now being asked to help Reading Borough Council decide a name for the town's new Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge. www.reading.gov.uk/bridgename. The deadline for responses is December 18th.