Softroom won the commission for the Pennington Road footbridge though a RIBA design competition that attracted 88 entries. Replacing an old industrial structure, the new bridge contributes to the regeneration of the area and acts as a gateway to Bootle for users of the canal.
The design responds to both the existing conditions of the site and the regeneration plans, to deliver a practical, long lasting and appealing solution set within the wider urban context. Spanning 19.4m, with a deck width of 2.4m, the form of the bridge echoes traditional canal bridges, where a ramped side approach links to a shallow arched bridge or simple span structure.
Updated for current standards of accessibility, a steep ramp has been replaced with a shallow inclined and stepped approach. Gently curving pathways have been cut into a newly formed landscape, much as hairpin roads wind their way up a hillside slope.
The bridge structure and finishes are constructed from sustainably sourced timber to create a feeling of tactility and warmth, as well as having the desired longevity and robustness. And reinforced earth engineering techniques support the curving ramp while minimising concrete.