Volta Adomi Bridge 1957

Volta Adomi Bridge 1957

© Sopotnicki

The Bridge

In 1955, Bill Brown joined his Freeman Fox colleagues, Gilbert Roberts and Colin Blackwell, to work on the design of the Adomi Bridge, a trussed arch spanning the Volta River at the Akosombo Dam in Ghana. He spent ten months living in Ghana and working on site. He enjoyed this very much, despite contracting dengue fever, and the intimidating sight of crocodiles swimming in the river around the site of construction. The two-hinged suspended-deck road bridge was 334 metres in length and comprised a single-span steel arch. Due to the presence of the crocodiles, the deck sections were pulled into place sideways, lifted, and lowered on inclined hangers.

A classic truss configuration was created for the Adomi Bridge. The design called for top-quality manganese steel for the structural welding, which was a new approach from the more generally accepted use of mild steel. The construction project went well, and the bridge over the Volta River opened in 1957 to international acclaim.

Volta Adomi Bridge

Connecting western and eastern Ghana

Key Facts

Near the Akosombo Dam

Replaced the busy ferry service, where delays of a few days were possible


Adome, Ghana

Across the Volta River

Near the Akosombo Dam

Consulting Engineer

Sir William Halcrow & Partners

Freeman Fox & Partners

Steel arch bridge designer: Bill Brown and Colin Blackwell (FFP)


Single-span steel arch suspension bridge

245m arch span

334m total length

Main contractors

Dorman Long

Cleveland Bridge


Began 1955

Opened 1957

Other long-span bridges