Next generation civil engineers celebrate Second Severn Crossing 20th Anniversary

With the Severn Crossing celebrating two decades, Cardiff primary school children had the opportunity to be engineers for a day. They learned how to construct a bridge and having built it were able to walk across

Children at Trowbridge Primary School taking part in the Bridge to Schools day.
Children at Trowbridge Primary School taking part in the Bridge to Schools day.

On Monday (6th June) staffs from Willmott Dixon were on hand to help the children try different roles and teach them basic civil engineering skills during the Bridge to Schools event in Trowbridge Primary School, Cardiff.

Sophie Paterson, Community Liaison Administrator for Willmott Dixon said: "By building a bridge together, the children learned about civil engineering, building and team work."

As part of the session, Willmott Dixon workers talked to the children about site safety, including the dangers associated with construction sites. And the children donned high visibility jackets, hard hats, gloves and safety glasses to carry out the work.

Sir John Armitt, Fellow and President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) - who worked on the construction of the iconic Second Severn Crossing said: "The Second Severn Crossing is a great example of how civil engineering connects communities, countries, businesses and people. I am proud to have played a part in its development and construction and I still get a thrill when I drive over it after 20 years. Building a bridge is especially rewarding as you can see instantaneously the benefits it delivers. 100 years ago the only way to cross the lower Severn Estuary was by ferry – a slow and sometimes treacherous journey across a windy body of water. Today 80,000 vehicles safely cross the lower Severn every day.

He added "It is a special bridge and I'm delighted school children in Cardiff have had the chance to construct a mini bridge based on its design, and get inspired by bridge building just as I have – what better way to celebrate the Crossing's 20th anniversary."

Keith Jones, Director at ICE Wales Cymru, said: "We are always delighted to work with children to inspire and interest them in civil engineering which is the foundation of everything society needs to function. From roads and flood defences to hospitals and schools, civil engineers build it. There is a national shortage of civil engineers which we can only hope to put right by stimulating interest in the next generation. It was an ideal opportunity with the Severn Crossing celebrating 20 years."

The event was organised by Willmott Dixon with help from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Wales Cymru.