FAQs

There is so much to learn about Rochester Bridge, the Trust, building bridges and civil engineering. Find out the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions below.

Rochester Bridge

A: There are four separate bridges. The Old Bridge (which carries westbound traffic), the Service Bridge (which carries pipes and cables), the New Bridge (which carries eastbound traffic) and the Railway Bridge. The Railway Bridge is owned and maintained by Network Rail. The Old, Service and New Bridges are owned and maintained by the Rochester Bridge Trust.

No. The bridges are looked after by the Trust.

The Trust pays all the cost of cleaning and maintaining the bridges. We don’t get any money from the government or Medway Council and we don’t charge people tolls to use the bridges.

The Rochester Bridge Trust

The Trust was founded in 1399 by two men – Sir John de Cobham and Sir Robert Knolles. They had built a new stone bridge at Rochester and wanted to make sure that there would be enough money to pay to look after it. They persuaded their friends to give land and money to the bridge and appointed to Wardens to take care of it.

The Trust still owns lots of land and property. For example, the Trust owns houses which are rented out for people to live in. It owns farms which are rented to farmers. The money from the rent goes to help pay for the bridges. The Trust also owns bonds, stocks and shares.

There are two Wardens and ten Assistant Wardens who lead the Trust. They are not paid for their work. There is also a small team of full and part-time staff.

Building Bridges

There are 6 main types. These are beam, truss, arch, cantilever, suspension and cable-stayed bridges. Lots of bridges are made of combinations of these different types of bridge.

The Old Bridge has three spans which are bowstring trusses and one span which is a beam bridge.

All the spans of the Service Bridge are beam bridges.

The main spans of the New Bridge are beam bridges of a special type known as a box girder.

Civil Engineering

Civil engineers design and construct all the things we need to live our lives. For example bridges, roads, railways, tunnels, large buildings such as stations, theatres and schools, tall buildings such as skyscrapers and stadiums. Civil engineers also build dams, water treatment and sewage treatment plants to make sure we can have clean water, power stations, sea walls and flood defences. You can find out more on this website or here http://www.ice.org.uk/What-is-civil-engineering/What-do-civil-engineers-do

There are lots of different ways to get involved in civil engineering. The most important thing the start is to enjoy maths and be interested in science, especially physics. You can find out more here http://www.ice.org.uk/What-is-civil-engineering/What-do-civil-engineers-do/How-to-become-a-Civil-Engineer