Arup has decades of experience designing and maintaining some of the world’s most important bridges. 

We work with clients to understand their needs and aspirations, so that our solutions make their bridge programmes possible – whether big and small. We then bring together leading global experts across disciplines to create teams that can deliver world-class bridge engineering anywhere. Long-span bridges open regions to opportunity and link communities. Our teams collaborate with architects, developers and the public sector to shape ambitious, pragmatic and enduring bridges that transform the way people live and work.

How and where bridges are sited, built and operated can have significant impacts on both people and the surrounding environment. Arup develops bridges which support a range of multi-modal travel options where possible. Sustainable construction methods and materials are also key to future bridge structures and we are at the forefront of innovation concepts and research in this area.

How we can help

We have realised many of the world’s significant road, rail and pedestrian bridges. Major bridges today are increasingly sophisticated infrastructure. We draw on Arup’s deep expertise in fundamentals such as wind engineering and seismic design as well as security, lighting, intelligent transport and more.

Our approach is multi-disciplinary, combining a range of related technical and engineering expertise. In a joint venture to design, develop and project-manage the Queensferry Crossing, Scotland’s largest infrastructure project in a generation, our integrated bridge team incorporates diverse skills including project finance, procurement, environmental, marine, geotechnics, landscaping, electrical, and mechanical disciplines.

We believe in continuing to innovate in bridge design. For Singapore’s much-awarded Helix Bridge we achieved its design mimicking the double-helix structure of DNA, using our own Arup’s 3D software. In this virtual environment, we developed a design that achieved both stunning effect and surprising strength with efficient use of steel.

Strong track record

In the 1970s we spanned the Benue River to reconnect the north-east region of Nigeria cut off by annual floods. Arup designed the Øresund Link, which joins Sweden and Denmark, and which was completed ahead of schedule and on budget. For Hong Kong’s Stonecutter Bridge, we produced the world’s second longest cable-stayed span, designed to withstand typhoon winds during construction and operation.

Oresund Link
The Øresund Bridge - Arup designed the bridge that connects Denmark and Sweden, helping deliver the project ahead of schedule and on budget.
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Managing ageing bridges and crossings

Managing ageing or stressed transport infrastructure is becoming an increasing challenge. Faced with the impact of increased numbers of heavier vehicles plus frequent and damaging climate events, and assets approaching the end of their intended design life, clients need to prioritise and take cost-effective action. Simultaneously, operators need to monitor and manage these assets in a sustainable way.

We’re helping clients to get the most from their existing bridges, looking for ways to extend life or repurpose assets in line with circular economy principles while minimising disruption to users. In the Netherlands, we are refurbishing eight critical long-span bridges to extend their useful life by 30 years and using off site construction techniques to minimise operational disruption to the route.

We manage inspection and testing regimes for bridges from New York, USA, to Queensland, Australia. We have recently been appointed to provide asset management advice including technical assessment for the Oresund Bridge – a 16km road and rail bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden - helping to suggest  measures to preserve the value of the bridge for the local community for as long as possible.

Where replacement is the best viable option for ageing bridges, we support clients to develop contextually sensitive and technically viable options, considering the needs of local communities and finding ways to minimise disruption. In a full advisory and design role, we helped the Canadian government with the business case and supporting technical advice to start the New Champlain Bridge corridor project – one of the largest infrastructure projects in North America.

Digital and automation

Digital design and construction methods are transforming the way we work with clients to realise new and replacement bridges and other civil structures. Our bridge teams use techniques from 3D scanning and modelling, BIM360 design checks, data-driven automated analysis and design and develop digital twins to support faster, more cost effective and more intelligent bridge design and operation. 

The availability of condition data from sensors on a bridge enables faster and more strategic decision making and allows for much more targeted interventions. We design systems to support the gathering and analysis of structural health monitoring data, such as our work designing a digital monitoring and safety evaluation system for the Queensferry Crossing. 

We are also involved in innovative design and construction methods. For example, we acted as lead structural engineer for MX3D bridge – Amsterdam’s robot printed steel pedestrian bridge. Bringing together computational design and 3D printing to streamline both the design and production process, allowed the bridge’s designers to explore greater form freedom and significantly reduce delivery timelines.