2020 Programme


Day 1 – Thursday 12th March - Conference Programme: 

The conference programme for Bridges 2020 will serve a wide variety of challenging case studies, cutting-edge technologies as well as the latest developments in bridge construction, inspection, maintenance and structural health monitoring.

Highlights of the main conference programme include a presentation on the offshore mega project nearing completion in Reunion Island, 900km east of Madagascar. There have been several innovations during the construction of the 5.4km-long offshore viaduct that is part of the Nouvelle Rue du Littoral project, including the installation of massive precast sections as well as the specially designed scour-protection system.

Also back on the conference agenda will be the popular Pecha Kucha-style series of quick-fire presentations focussed on bridge innovations.

Delegates will also have the chance to hear about the world’s first biobridge currently at its final stages of construction in the Netherlands. This swing bridge, constructed with flax fibres and a bio-based resin, has been made possible thanks to the pro-sustainbility approach of Friesland Province.

As well as international projects the programme will feature UK-focussed case studies, such as the hanger replacement of the Humber Bridge, as well as showcase digital technologies that enable reduced costs through increased offsite manufacturing and faster construction.

Other areas that will be covered included bridge maintenance, structural health monitoring, BrIM, 3D-printed bridges, inspections, as well as the hugely popular Pecha Kucha-style session. 

Programme highlights include:

  • Sustainability and the carbon footprint: what can bridge engineers do?
    Lee Franck, Realtyimpact
  • Bridge maintenance
    John Collins, principal engineer, Roughan & O’Donovan
  • BD 54/15 Management of post-tensioned concrete bridges
    Donald Pearson Kirk, WSP
  • The world’s first biobridge
    Sjoerd Vrieswijk, Friesland Province, The Netherlands
  • 3D-printed bridges, longevity and sustainability
    Bart-Jan Van Der Graag, Royal HaskoningDHV
  • Introducing the Five Grand Challenges for bridge owners, including key facts and priority areas for development
    Richard Fish, Bridge Owners’ Forum
  • Design for operation and maintenance of steel bridges: best practice and worst culprits
    Andrew Hodgkinson, Hewson Consulting
  • Wool Old Bridge project: a model for historic reconstruction projects
    David Clegg and Richard Parfitt, Dorset County Council

Day 2 - Friday 13th March – Workshops:

The Grand Challenges New to Bridges 2020 is a day of workshops that are being organised in partnership with the Bridge Owners’ Forum. Maintaining the country’s crossings in a safe and serviceable state is of paramount importance for the surrounding communities as well as for the economic prosperity of the country as a whole. However, local authorities, bridge owners and bridge engineers are facing significant challenges that range from evolving transport demands and increasingly adverse climatic events to economic and environmental pressures.

The UK Bridge Owners’ Forum has reacted to this developing environment by identifying the most significant of these challenges, addressing the key priority areas that are in urgent need for development. During the Bridges 2020 Workshops the five Grand Challenges will be identified and some of the priority areas for development discussed in a series of themed sessions.

Ideas, technology and solutions will be shared in a series of structured sessions throughout the day, with a focus on collaboration and innovation. Delegates attending the Bridges 2020 Workshops will have the opportunity to hear the latest initiatives and methods used for addressing the challenges faced by the industry, which include preventing bridge collapses, extending the life of existing structures, and building bridges that will perform better.


If you would like to find out more about opportunities for participation, please contact Lisa Bentley today l.bentley@hgluk.com or call +44 (0) 20 7973 4698 and we will be in touch.

"Again the Bridges conference gave a great opportunity to network with colleagues across the profession and attend presentations from industry leaders" 
Principal Structure Engineer, Staffordshire County Council