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Hexham Bridge (reconstruction)
River Tyne, Hexham, Northumberland
associated engineer
John Smeaton
Robert Mylne
date  1790 - 1795
era  Georgian  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  NY939646
ICE reference number  HEW 535
The present Hexham Bridge carries the A6079 over the River Tyne, and was constructed between 1790 and 1795. It is a reconstruction of an earlier masonry bridge designed by John Smeaton, which had collapsed in a flood in March 1782, two years after its completion.
The nine-span masonry bridge was rebuilt by Robert Mylne with the Northumberland bridge surveyors William Johnson and Robert Thompson. Its superstructure is identical to Smeatonís, although the roundels in the spandrels are purely decorative. Each segmental arch measures 15.54m across.
To prevent a repeat of the earlier disaster, the reconstructed bridge is founded on a piled timber platform that stretches from bank to bank. In the 18th century, this was thought the only reliable way to protect the piers from the effects of high water flow rates.
Smeaton was affected greatly by the failure of his bridge but did not live to see its replacement completed as he died in 1792.
Research: ECPK
reference sources   CEH NorthJS
Location

Hexham Bridge (reconstruction)