Our Springhead Bridge is in line for a prestigious award.

It has been nominated for Civils Project of the Year in the the SECBE (South East Centre for the Built Environment) Awards 2020.


Balfour Beatty (BB) is constructing a new bridge in Ebbsfleet Garden City to improve connectivity and reduce journey times from Springhead Park residential area to the future city centre and Ebbsfleet International station. The 87-metre long bridge provides two-lane vehicle access, pedestrian footpaths and a cycle path.

The land the bridge is being built on has been provided by the developer Countryside Properties and Ebbsfleet Investment GP Limited (EIGP). To facilitate the smooth delivery of the project and aid collaboration, EDC commissioned a bespoke collaboration agreement that both parties signed. The Scape framework simplified the procurement process for EDC and provided them with early access to the civil engineering expertise that Balfour Beatty provides. Other benefits include:

  • Reducing risk through collaborative workshops
  • One team approach, shaping project requirements within budget and programme through joint understanding of outcomes
  • Delivering efficiencies and knowledge transfer across project lifecycle and programme
  • Confidence to funding authorities: delivery partner engaged early, confirming suitability of funding
  • Open book approach stimulating collaborative ethos for best value

Throughout the project, BB worked closely with the local community. They created work placements, engaged with students from local schools, colleges and universities, and donated topsoil to a local charity to support the creation of a new community garden.

The bridge spans over Ebbsfleet river where there is lots of wildlife. To prevent damage to the ecosystem and ensure disruption to wildlife is minimised, they employed an ecologist to work alongside the project team. With the use of vegetated embankments and gabion baskets, they blended the new structure into the environment. Work has been programmed to avoid impact on the bird nesting season, and prior to construction, a special barrier was installed to prevent reptiles and amphibians from entering the site.

Unique challenges

To eliminate unnecessary traffic on an already congested network and the carbon emissions associated with it, BB installed a pontoon access bridge across the river instead. This also removed the need for two welfare setups on either side of the bridge. The pontoon has no environmental impact unlike alternative temporary bridge structures, which require semi-permanent foundations to be constructed and removed.

Large cofferdams were constructed in the watercourse to enable the construction of the foundations without constricting the natural flow of the river. To enable excavation inside the cofferdams, dewatering of the cofferdams was required. This was achieved through pumps and settlement tanks. Pumping water through straw bales after the settlement tanks enabled them to discharge clear water into the watercourse, protecting the local ecology. To stop fish from entering the water pump a fish trap stop was installed.

To minimise the land take on the floodplain, a reinforced earth embankment was constructed at the north side of the river, this provided a natural alternative to reinforced concrete and required less space than a conventional earth embankment, minimising the impact on the river and ecosystem.


  • Once complete, residents of Springhead Park will only have a seven-minute walk to Ebbsfleet International, encouraging more active and sustainable transport, saving 20 minutes on journey times, unnecessary car journeys and reducing traffic volumes on busy local routes.
  • The project has diverted approximately 8,000m3 of non-hazardous soft material with a high natural organic content from landfill by sending it to a local land restoration site. All under-road construction material for the embankment construction is approved recycled crushed concrete, reducing depletion of natural resources.
  • Exemplar health and safety record of the project and framework: over 126,000 hours worked on Springhead Bridge site incident-free


Words provided by Balfour Beatty


To read more about Springhead Bridge and see drone footage as it develops head here