Reading Bridge, Reading, UK

L G. Mouchel & Partners Ltd - Engineers
Holloway Brothers (London) Ltd - Contractors
Date Built
Opened for traffic October 3, 1923
Carries George Street over the River Thames
This single span ferro-concrete bridge crosses the River Thames in Reading carrying 20,000 vehicles a day over the river.  When completed in 1923, it claimed to be the world's longest span of its type. 

The engineers for this structure were L G Mouchel & Partners, specialists in the use of reinforced concrete and infrastructure projects.  Their history includes: the design of the first natural draught hyperbolic curved reinforced concrete cooling towers in 1924; the design of the first two chimneys of Battersea Power Station in 1931; and Earls Court Exhibition Centre, one of the world's largest reinforced concrete buildings in 1935.  Mouchel was first appointed as design engineer for the bridge in 1914 but the war brought a halt to its construction.

The bridge is almost 183 metres long with a 55 metre span that rises to 5.5 metres above normal water level.

The website explains that, "... The arch consists of four ribs. The two outer ribs are 1.2m wide, 1.4m deep at the springings and 790mm deep at the crown, while the two central ribs are 1.4m wide by 1.4m deep at the springings and 1.1m deep at the crown.  Longitudinal beams, 255mm wide and 510mm deep, run above the ribs, connected to them by spandrel columns every 3m. Each column is 255mm by 610mm in section. The main beams are connected by transverse secondary beams 180mm wide by 360mm deep, set 1.5m apart longitudinally. The whole arrangement is topped by a 190mm thick concrete deck.  Parapets to the arch and abutments are of Portland stone. All other parts of the structure are ferro-concrete. The steel-reinforced construction is monolithic, without joints other than for contraction or expansion."

There are staircases on either end leading down to the towpath and tunnels allowing pedestrians to continue along the riverside paths.

Close Window