Humber Bridge A Frames

Formerly the world’s longest suspension bridge, the Humber Bridge spans the Humber Estuary from East Yorkshire to Lincolnshire across a 1,410-metre roadway. Wear and tear caused by 32 years of strong weather conditions necessitated the replacement of the A-Frames, which connect the deck to the towers and allow the bridge to expand and contract naturally in the heat and cold.

Key Project Details

Client Humber Bridge Board
Duration 14 months
Location Hull, East Yorkshire

Project Scope

Following design optioneering, Spencer Group’s innovative scheme was selected to replace the main span’s A-frames with a pair of vertically orientated pendels and a wind shoe at each tower, thus separating out the horizontal and vertical forces, with benefits for construction and maintenance. This would not only replace the existing A Frames, but also reduce the stress on the new replacement to increase its lifespan and reduce the cost and frequency of maintenance. The project was a complex scheme involving several engineering disciplines, as well as working at height in the cramped below-deck area, whilst minimising the effect on the bridge’s operation – as a vital artery and Hull’s only fixed crossing.

The project involved

1,410-metre bridge
4 A Frames replaced


Using Spencer’s in-house design resources, we were able to create an end product that was highly praised by our client. As well as the design being highly innovative, the delivery of the project allowed us to keep the bridge operational while works were carried out, leading to an ongoing relationship with the client. The project won the Civil Engineering Project of the Year (up to £10m) category in the British Construction Industry Awards 2015, the ICE Smeaton Award and was nominated for the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award, and was the subject of a paper by the ICE. Spencer Group implemented a new main span A-Frame replacement system that ensured the integrity of the bridge and simplified future maintenance.

Find out more about our Bridges services

The project involved

2 award wins