York Millennium Footbridge

The York Millennium Bridge is a footbridge which runs over the River Ouse in the heart of York. The bridge was intended to shorten the walking and cycling route for students and residents from houses in the city’s South Bank area to the University of York and to the city centre, in a part of the city which had historically lacked a river crossing.

Key Project Details

Client York Millennium Trust
Duration 52 weeks
Location York, North Yorkshire

Project Scope

The 80m span design called for a complex box beam structure supported on a stainless steel raked bowstring that was intended to resemble a bicycle wheel: reflecting the bridge’s function, and more elegant than a utilitarian design, but also fitting into the surrounding cityscape with a low profile and no tower. As a Millennium project it was intended as an iconic structure that would be a focal point for the area with associated community benefits, whilst keeping to strict cost and time requirements due to the needs of the working waterway that it spans.

The project involved

80m box girder frame
150 m in length


Spencer Group developed new fabrication techniques and an innovative construction methodology to launch the bridge, assembled on one bank and across the river, minimising cost, stress on the bridge and disruption to the waterway. The associated river walks were enhanced with hard and soft landscaping involving the construction of bank-side viewing platforms: tree planting, wild flower seeding, paving, street furniture, plaques, signposting, fencing, gates and a lighting scheme. All the works were carried within particularly rigorous environmental constraints, and the bridge remains in place today as an iconic structure that is a well-loved landmark used by residents and students alike.

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The project involved

Assembled on 1 bank