Spencer Bridge Engineering scoops prestigious industry awards for two major projects

Spencer Bridge Engineering has been recognised for its outstanding work on two iconic bridges at separate industry awards ceremonies.

Spencer Bridge Engineering completed a programme of essential works to preserve Union Chain Bridge linking England and Scotland.

The company has won awards for projects on Union Chain Bridge and Menai Suspension Bridge.

Spencer Bridge Engineering completed a programme of essential works to preserve Union Chain Bridge linking England and Scotland, which is more than 200 years old.

The crossing over the River Tweed from Horncliffe in Northumberland to Fishwick in Berwickshire has a single span of 449ft (137m) and was the longest wrought iron suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1820.

Spencer Bridge Engineering was appointed by Northumberland County Council to dismantle the bridge and carry out a complete refurbishment and rebuild. 

A key element of the project was to ensure modifications were in keeping with the historical significance of the bridge. This included restoring, rather than replacing, the suspension chains wherever possible and using stone from the original quarry to repair masonry work on the bridge’s two towers.

Spencer Bridge Engineering has been named both the ‘Gold Winner’ of the Restoration Project of the Year Award and the ‘Silver Winner’ of the Community Engagement Award for the Union Chain Bridge project at the National Building and Construction Awards 2023.

It received the Community Engagement Award for its commitment to working closely with partners and stakeholders throughout. These included Northumberland County Council, the Scottish Borders Council, Museums Northumberland and the Friends of Union Chain Bridge.

The Spencer Bridge Engineering team became a part of the community it worked in, taking time to help residents with roof repairs, handing out firewood, building a community bar at a local village hall and even providing medical assistance to a resident living near the bridge. 

Spencer Bridge Engineering has also been recognised for emergency works carried out on the Grade I listed Menai Suspension Bridge, the second oldest operational vehicular suspension bridge in the world.

The bridge crosses the Menai Strait between the island of Anglesey and mainland North Wales and, when opened in 1826, it had the longest span in the world at 176m. It was designed by prolific road, bridge and canal builder Thomas Telford, who became the first President of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The bridge was immediately closed to vehicular traffic on October 21st, 2022 after a safety issue related to potential hanger failure was identified.

Spencer Bridge Engineering rapidly designed, procured and installed secondary fail-safes at strategic hanger locations, enabling the bridge to be reopened on schedule on February 1st, 2023.

In partnership with UK Highways A55, COWI, and the Welsh Government, Spencer Bridge Engineering has now won both the Infrastructure Project of the Year Award and the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Award at the Welsh Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) Awards 2023.

Luke Fisher, Director of Spencer Bridge Engineering, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have been honoured with these prestigious awards across two separate awards ceremonies.

“These awards further reinforce Spencer Bridge Engineering’s reputation as a leading specialist bridge works company.

“Our expertise, experience and wide-ranging capabilities across the company mean we’re a partner that can be trusted to deliver for our clients.

“I’d like to congratulate the team on their tremendous work that’s lead to this recognition.”

Spencer Bridge Engineering is part of Hull-based multi-disciplinary engineering specialists Spencer Group. To find out more about its expertise, visit www.thespencergroup.co.uk/our-work/bridges