Client: Barratt Homes

Project overview

The Watkins Bridge Replacements was a crucial project due to serious concerns about the existing bridge's deterioration and condition. This bridge was used as the main route in and out of the Freemens Meadow Development in Leicester, causing its usability to be crucial to the residents.  

The new bridge set out to enhance accessibility to the development and meet the latest compliance with the highway standards. The bridge would also go over the Old River Soar, allowing efficient travel for almost 600 homes in the development. Integral to the project was the commitment to maintaining traffic flow and minimising disruptions. A challenge managed through a strategically phased construction approach. 

  • Primary access to almost 600 homes
  • Two phased approach
  • Built over the Old River Soar

BWB's role

A staged approach

We developed the bridge design using a staged approach to ensure different options were considered. Buildability was at the heart of the preferred solution, and all key stakeholders were aware of the risks and constraints. 

We delivered a multi-disciplinary range of services, including bridge design, geotechnical engineering, surveying, civil engineering and flood modelling. By taking a holistic approach to defining the solution from the earliest stages and working closely with various stakeholders, we ensured the project's success. 

Resilient traffic design

By considering traffic management phasing both during construction and future bridge and highway maintenance scenarios, we were able to reassure Leicester City Council, the residents and users of the development that the solution would be resilient and a significant improvement on their previous experience. 

Simplicity in design

Whilst the overall solution required innovative thinking, the specific design solutions adopted were simple and conventional, using repetition and off-site manufacture where possible.  This added value to the client and the adopting local authority by keeping construction and future maintenance costs to a minimum and helping reduce project and health and safety risk as low as possible. 

Start to finish

Our involvement in the project began with initial optioneering, concept design and support during the planning process. Moving onto Approval in Principle and detailed design phases and continued through to construction. Undertaking NEC Supervisor and Works Examiner roles to enable certification of the works upon completion.