The Rochester Bridge Trust has appointed consultant Opus International to replace Mott Macdonald as its bridge engineer.
Mott Macdonald had held the position of bridge engineer − under various names − since 1951.
The charity owns two road bridges and a service bridge at Rochester, one of them a Grade II listed structure. The crossings are still provided and maintained at no cost to the public.
Opus International will be responsible for advising the historic Trust on maintenance and improvements for the three bridges.
The consultancy will be responsible for asset management, monitoring and inspection, providing structural and highway engineering advice and design, and supervising all significant works.
The Rochester Bridge Trust was founded at the end of the 14th century to provide and maintain a bridge across the River Medway in Kent at no cost to the public purse.
The Trust is one of the oldest charities in the country and a unique survivor of the medieval system of building and maintaining bridges.
Rochester Bridge Trust bridge clerk Sue Threader said: “This is clearly a prestigious and challenging role. We are delighted to welcome Opus International as the new bridge engineer and look forward to an effective and successful relationship.”
While in the early days the Trust appointed individual civil engineers and architects as its Bridge Engineers, this role has been undertaken by a consultancy since the 1950s.
The new bridge engineer will be following in the footsteps of such famous engineers as Sir William Cubitt, Thomas Telford, and Henry Yevele – the medieval architect of London Bridge and Westminster Abbey.