Location. Manchester Airport
Value. £6 million
Size. 50m Span
Status. Completed 2021
As part of our ongoing role as masterplan guardian for the ‘Airport City Manchester’ project we were commissioned to prepare proposals for a central bridge across the M56 motorway spur, providing a new footbridge connection between Airport and Airport City. The new bridge will provide access for cyclists and pedestrians in neighbouring Wythenshawe and the wider area to the employment opportunities at the Airport.
The footbridge will also enhance the plausibility and deliverability of the early phases of the masterplan, driving early fundamental connections and informing the urban grain to be developed. A number of structural solutions were explored which were informed by the physical constraints of the site and specific performance criteria. The final solution spans 50m and will be supported by piers at either end with bearings.
The bridges predominant material is perforated weathering steel. The combination of minimal maintenance liabilities and it’s patination over time, enabling it to blend into the neighbouring urban development and landscape, make it ideal for this use. The decision to use apertures within the metal surface allows 24 hour visual connectivity between footbridge users and motorists below, allowing a depth of perception through the structure both during the day and in evening hours. Other materials to be used include resin bound gravel, exposed structural concrete and planar glazing complimented by a temporary public realm which will ultimately allow the structure to be subsumed within the emerging masterplan.
Construction commenced in late 2019, with the bridge moved into place over the road in summer 2020. The bridge was opened to the public in 2021.