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Boothferry Bridge

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Boothferry Bridge
Location Map ( geo)
Boothferry Bridge - Geograph - 72441.jpg
Cameraicon.png View gallery (5)
From:  Goole, Yorkshire
To:  Howden, Yorkshire
Highway Authority
East Riding of Yorkshire
Opening Date
Additional Information
Bridge Type:  Truss Bridge
On road(s)

Boothferry Bridge is a crossing of the River Ouse, and was opened in 1929, replacing the old ferry service. Prior to the building of the bridge and the later M62 motorway it was the only point at which to cross the river without a long trip to Selby Toll Bridge. The box girder bridge is also a swing bridge and often opens to allow shipping to pass through on its way to Selby. This bridge carried most of the traffic travelling south from the port of Hull. Southbound traffic can also use the Humber Bridge, making this crossing a lot quieter than it was in the past.


The bridge had been constructed by May 1929 and tests of the opening of the swing span carried out, but the opening was delayed until 18 July. This was put down to waiting for the Howden bypass to be constructed and opened.

The opening ceremony commenced at 3pm with Alderman Lord Deramore (chairman of East Riding County Council) calling upon Alderman John Sykes Quemby (chairman of West Riding Highways Committee) to open the bridge. The bridge was swung for road traffic and Alderman Quemby "unlocked" the gate to declare it open for public use. The Lord Mayor of Hull, Councillor Benno Pearlman, proposed a vote of thanks. They then walked with guests across the bridge to open the northern approach road.

Personnel and costs

Basil Mott of Mott, Hay and Anderson, Westminster were Consulting Engineers and the Construction Contractor was Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Co. Ltd., Darlington with a tender price of £105,235. To this was added the cost of land, easements, professional fees and contingencies which brought the total cost to £116,467 of which the Ministry of Transport contributed 50%. The balance was financed: Hull Corporation £11,200; Goole Urban council £5,200; West Riding County Council £33,600; East Riding County Council £5,600 (a total of £56,000 per the Hull Daily Mail, so slightly less than 50%).

The original bridge detail

The total length between abutments was 695 feet 6 inches, comprising a swing span, 223 feet long with a clear opening for shipping of 125 feet, two truss spans and three approach spans. The swing span is supported on a group of four cylinders sunk by compressed air, and including road and machinery has a total moving weight of 1,000 tons. The truss spans are also supported on cylinders except for the south end of the second truss which is supported on reinforced concrete piles. The three approach spans rest on concrete piers, and the abutments are in mass concrete, with reinforced concrete pile foundations. All the cylinders are taken down to hard sandstone at an average depth below high water level of 65 feet.

The carriageway over the bridge is 20 feet wide between kerbs with 6 feet wide footways either side supported by cantilever outside the main girder.

The turntable, fitted with 86 cast steel concrete rollers secured by radial rods to the central pivot, stands on four heavy sill girders placed on the cylinders. The swing span is operated from the control cabin, which is fixed on top of the span. Power for the swinging is brought across the river by high tension cables. Transformed down to 220 volts, the current is taken through a collector ring placed over the central pivot of the roadway and up to the switchboards in the cabin. For emergency purposes a six cylinder petrol engine of 45 HP was provided, and with this it was possible to open the bridge and drive home the wedges.

By an ingenious arrangement, devised to ensure absolute safety, the bridge cannot be swung open until the gates at either end are locked. When this is done it is possible to withdraw the wedges.

The roadways on the approach spans are wood-paved over 9 inches of concrete, and the footways are of reinforced concrete 3 inches thick. On the long arm of the swing span the road is constructed of oak planks laid diagonally across creosoted timbers 12 inches by 8 inches running across the bridge and secured to the cross girders by bolts. On the short arm, where weight is required for the obvious reason, the roadway is of concrete faced with granite setts and the footways are of concrete.

The Approach Roads

The southern approach was widened to 60 feet for 1,814 yards. Cost was £30,240 with the Ministry contributing 75%, Goole Urban Council 15% and the remainder by West Riding County Council.

The northern approach road was constructed by East Riding County Council and included a bypass for Howden up to the Hull - Selby road. A little over 2 miles in length, the bypass was 60 feet wide, and cost £41,640 towards which the Ministry contributed 75%, Hull Corporation 10% and East Riding County Council 15%.

Boothferry Bridge
Related Pictures
View gallery (5)
Boothferry Bridge - Geograph - 72441.jpgMain opening span of Boothferry bridge - Geograph - 79168.jpgBoothferry Bridge - Geograph - 555611.jpgThe Swing Bridge Section - Geograph - 610551.jpgBoothferry Bridge - Geograph - 977781.jpg
Crossings of the Humber, Ouse and other Tributaries
The HumberHumber Bridge • Humber Crossing
River OuseAldwark Toll Bridge • Clifton Bridge (York) • Lendal Bridge • Ouse Bridge (York) • Skeldergate Bridge • Bishopthorpe Bridge • Cawood Bridge • Selby Toll Bridge • The Ouse Swing Bridge • Boothferry Bridge • M62 Ouse Bridge
River UreAppersett Bridge • Wensley Bridge • Middleham Bridge • Masham Bridge • Tanfield Bridge • North Bridge (Ripon) • Ripon By Pass Bridge • Bridge Hewick • Arrows Bridge • The Borough Bridge
River WharfeWharfe Bridge • Grassington Bridge • Bolton Bridge • Otley Bridge • Pool Bridge • Harewood Bridge • Wetherby Bridge • Tadcaster Bridge • Tadcaster By Pass Bridge
River HullBethells Bridge • Hull Bridge • Weel Bridge • Ennerdale Bridge • Sutton Road Bridge • Stoneferry Bridge • Sculcoates Bridge • Scott Street Bridge • North Bridge • Drypool Bridge • Myton Bridge • South Bridge
River DerwentLoftsome Bridge • Old Loftsome Bridge • Derwent Bridge • Sutton Bridge • Kexby Old Bridge • Kexby Bridge • Stamford Bridge • Howsham Bridge • Hay Bridge • Green Bridge

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