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AVA, a consortium of companies including Network Rail, Expedition Engineering, Hawkins\Brown, Atelier Ten, and Walker Construction, funded by Innovate UK and Network Rail is revolutionising the way footbridges are built across the rail network, reducing time, cost and carbon in the process.

The high cost of bridge delivery and extended programmes are inhibiting delivery across the network. Currently, only about one third of project costs apply to the design and delivery of Network Rail footbridges. The remainder covers construction, indirect management, legal, risk, and other indirect process costs. Our goal was to reduce, or eliminate, these costs and programme implications.

See an introduction to the prototype phase in this short film.

The AVA project is a demonstration of the future of manufactured infrastructure.


The AVA group’s experience on the design, manufacturing and construction of the AVA modular footbridge places us as leaders in ‘Manufactured Infrastructure’. The AVA consortium has been working to demonstrate a shift from traditional design and construction processes to a cooperative model. The collaborative manufacturing process will prove the power of industrial scale repetition providing value to our client and the taxpayer.

Prototyping has been undertaken in the first stage of the project that will go on to see a full-scale demonstrator bridge built across tracks in early 2022 and eventually aims to bring to market a system that changes the way bridges are commissioned, designed, installed and experienced.

The AVA footbridge project is part of the TIES Living Lab programme.



Chris Wise
Clotilde Robin
Eva MacNamara

Client: Innovate UK and Network Rail

Architect: Hawkins\Brown

Status: Prototype complete, further development ongoing


3D Views: Hawkins\Brown

Prototype photos: Graham Leese


AVA Modular Footbridge