Sail Bridge, Swansea

In many major ports throughout the world, there is an extensive program of regeneration in place transforming the old redundant docks into smart new offices, retail, residential and leisure facilities. Swansea is no exception. Under the Welsh Development Agency, the SA1 Swansea Waterside area is being transformed. Part of this transformation is the construction of two striking new bridges over the River Tawe - the Sail Bridge, featured here, and the Lock bridge at the barrage at the seaward end. 

The Sail Bridge was opened in June 2003. Design was by William Eyre, structural engineers Flint and Neill Partnership, main contractors Balfour Beatty, and steelwork contractors, Rowecord Engineering. The bridge is 142 metres long, and the deck is supported by cables strung from a 40 metre high mast; the design is inspired by the sail of a yacht.  For further technical details see the Structural Steel Design Awards website.

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Overview from the north

Another general view

Looking upstream from the east bank

Detail of the mast

The pier

Detail of the base of the mast and attachment to the pier

The deck, divided between cycle track on the left (north) and footway on the right (not that anyone takes any notice)

The parapet

The western approach

The marina downstream from the bridge

A particularly colourful National Cycle Network milepost - in the "Welsh" design

Space-age seat on the quayside just north of the bridge. Sainsbury's in the background

A histrocial artifact on the waterfront - a reinforced concrete beam from the old Weaver's Mill

The road bridge upstream - the previous lowest crossing of the Tawe. Note the piers of an old railway bridge.

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