Only Connect: 20 years of bridge engineering

BuroHappold’s bridge engineering team is 20 years old this month. The practice has been involved in the creation of over 100 bridges worldwide and developed a reputation for creative design backed by quality delivery.

Davood Liaghat is the team’s director. Joining Buro Happold as an experienced bridge engineer at a time when the practice had not yet seriously addressed this discipline, he was encouraged to develop a specialist group. He has since led his team from strength to strength.

We asked Davood to tell us about some landmark Buro Happold bridge projects from around the world. “It has been a real pleasure to work with some wonderful colleagues, architects and clients on so many interesting bridges over the past 20 years,” he says. “In celebration of this milestone moment, here are just five of my favourite Buro Happold bridges.”

1. Northern Spire, Sunderland, UK

To date, this is our longest bridge that has been constructed. Opened in 2018, it was the third-largest bridge construction project in the UK last year. This elegant cable-stayed bridge carries traffic over the river Wear. As a project, it is a major part of the regeneration of the North East and will have an important social and financial impact in Sunderland. Read more >

2. Ponte della Musica, Rome, Italy

Our first bridge engineering project outside the UK was won through an intensely competitive process. The first pedestrian bridge over the Tiber since Roman times, it took 12 years from inception to completion. It has proved popular locally and is used to host regular cultural events. It is also a firm favourite on Instagram. Read more >

3. Charles River North Bank Bridge, Boston, USA

Sinusoidal in shape, this was our first bridge in the US. The design needed to navigate its way through constraints such as the highway, railroad, water and existing bridges. It was like threading a string through four misaligned needles! Read more >

4. Alexandra Arch Bridge, Southern Ridges, Singapore

Another bridge engineering project that was won through an international design competition, this was our first architectural bridge in Asia. Designed to resemble an open leaf, the arch bridge is linked with a mile-long walkway level with the treetops that is very popular with joggers. Read more >

5. King Abdul Aziz Flyover, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

This steel arch bridge, now an integral part of the Riyadh city centre, was our first major highway bridge in the Middle East. With six lanes and carrying tens of thousands of vehicles each day, it is illuminated at night and has become a local landmark. Read more >

Want to find out more about our bridge engineering and design expertise? Visit our specialist bridge engineering page.

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