Cycle bridge to rival Brunel wins top award
A stunning new bridge echoing the engineering brilliance of Brunel has won a prestigious national award.
The £2.1 million Gem Bridge, on Drake's Trail – named after the buccaneering Sir Francis Drake – has been named civil engineering project of the year (under £3 million) at the British Construction Industry Awards.
Spanning 200 metres, the innovative steel structure near Grenofen and Tavistock was completed last year by Exeter-based Dawnus Construction. It will carry cyclists 24 metres above the Walkham Valley.
It stands in the valley where Brunel's original 1859 Walkham Viaduct once stood, spanning 300 metres before it was demolished as part of the Beeching cuts of the 1960s.
The 200-metre long bridge is 24 metres high, or the equivalent height of five double-decker buses on top of each other. The bridge is on the route of the Velodyssey, a 265-mile (440km) cross-Channel cycle link that will eventually stretch 870 miles (1,400km), from Ilfracombe in through Brittany to the border with Spain.