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The Project

The Castleford Bridge was completed in West Yorkshire, England 10 years ago. As part of a series of regeneration projects, the 130m curved footbridge was made to be a safer, pedestrian-friendly route in place of the 200-year-old Victorian bridge downstream.

Officially opened in 2008 by Kevin McCloud, the project was watched with interest as it sought to be a catalyst for change in the town. It was designed over five years by architects and regeneration experts who collaborated with the local council and community, to improve Castleford together with a series of urban interventions.

The new bridge curves and bends in response to the mill and weir. The 4m wide deck and custom handrails were made from Cumaru timber. Cumaru was selected to weather to achieve lustrous grey tones. The bridge, as seen in the gallery below, now blends in with the site.

Cumaru was chosen for the footbridge because of its strength, durability and FSC certified sustainability credentials. Cumaru is one and a half times the density of oak, which is typically used in the UK. The timber deck boards span approximately 800mm between bearers on the bridge. The timbers structural properties were important to achieve the bridges overall elegant and slim design.

The project was the first major bridge in the UK which achieved full Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. The timber was sourced from sustainable FSC certified forests in Brazil.

Total Bridge Surface: 524m2
Total timber weight: 37 tonnes
All deck boards laid end to end: 8km

Architect: McDowell+Benedetti
Sources: Dezeen, The Happy Pontist.


To achieve a similar performance and finish, Porta can supply Porta Cumaru. Porta can supply decking boards in a variety of sizes including 32mm decking boards for commercial applications.

If you want a silver-grey look, regularly apply a clear unpigmented coating to protect the timber from moisture and follow the manufacturers’ recommendation. Contact Porta for more information on coating recommendations.

Product Specification 

Achieve with Porta products

  • Porta Cumaru Decking
  • Porta Cumaru Posts & Beams
  • Porta Cumaru Handrails

“We have worked hard to achieve a minimal structure to accentuate the views and the experience of the water for users. The bridge is more than a crossing. It’s a new public space for Castleford town, uniting communities on both banks.”

Renato Benedetti – Architect

Photo Gallery