News from IMS Council Member, Dr Adrienn Tomor:

I mentioned in the last council meeting an initiative to build a new stone arch bridge in Bristol. The decision was made this week and planning permission was granted.

The bridge will provide safe crossing for pedestrians and cyclists over a busy road, but the project will also offer the opportunity for re-learning traditional building techniques, offer training opportunities, apprenticeship programmes, involve arts and heritage, etc. The project is entirely non-commercial and local community involvement will be an integral part. We will next proceed to set up a charity to raise funds and organise the construction through the charity.

I believe the project opens up a new era in masonry arch bridge construction. It will help demonstrate that masonry bridges are the most sustainable bridge types ever built and feasible alternatives to steel and concrete (similar costs). Masonry bridges would of course not be suitable everywhere, but they would certainly be suitable and preferred in a number of locations.

Perhaps this is an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of masonry and encourage wider application.