17 April 2018

Yorkshire Bridges: 20. Urn Farm Bridge, Leeds

From Lofthouse Interchange, I continued north towards Leeds.

The next bridge I visited was the Urn Farm Bridge, which today carries the footpath Orion Walk across the M621 motorway. It was built as an accommodation bridge as part of the original M1 motorway circa 1967.

This is a three-hinged reinforced concrete arch, spanning 213 feet (65m) between springings and 320 feet (98m) long in total. The upper side spans are supported on half-joints. A photograph of the bridge under construction can be seen at the Motorway Archive online.

It is a moderately familiar form of construction, with other examples including Needle Eye Bridge, also on the M1, and Swanscombe Cutting Bridge. However, I doubt there are more than half-a-dozen in the UK. I always admire their clarity and elegance.

This example has been slightly marred by the addition of anti-climb guards to the legs, but it's still a lovely structure, a fine gateway on the motorway approach to Leeds, or a place for walkers to pause and admire the view.

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