The Bracklinn Falls Footbridge has a modular design to facilitate construction at the remote rural site that can be reached via a forestry track and a steep winding footpath through ancient woodland north-east of Callander, Scotland. The structure comprises 2.7m-long elements that were delivered and erected with the aid of only a midi-excavator, each section was first built on one side of the falls before being pushed incrementally across the gap on temporary railings.
Cake Industries was main contractor on the project, building to a design they partnered on with BEAM Architects. The 21.7m by 2m-wide ‘walk-through’ structure is made from perforated weathering steel, with longitudinal beams doubling as pedestrian parapets leaning out from the deck to provide users with a spatial environment. A series of folded Z-profile panels are bolted together through intermittent U-frames along each edge, creating a continuously spanning silhouette, the deck is made of GFRP, and the handrails are stainless-steel.
Perforated material was used to reduce weight and add transparency, transforming the larger openings in the centre of the structure into a mid-span ‘window’. Another effect of the material selection is that the bridge appears transparent when observed from the surrounding landscape, seemingly composed only of the triangulated margins between the perforated areas.
The footbridge is the third structure to be built at the site after a long-standing steel bridge was destroyed by extreme flooding in 2004 and its timber replacement was removed in 2021 due to deterioration. In 2022 The National Park Authority commissioned a new pedestrian bridge to re-establish the circular trail with requirements for a 120-year design life and a low-cost, low-maintenance construction.
Bracklinn Falls Footbridge officially opened to the public on 29 March 2023.