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FIRST STEPS

Steel fabrication is set to kick off over the next few months for Whitby Bird & Partners' new footbridge under Chelsea Bridge on the River Thames in London. The £650,000 structure is part of Berkeley Homes new riverside Chelsea Bridge Wharf development.

At 4m wide, it completes the missing section of riverside towpath to provide a pedestrian link beneath the busy Thames crossing. East Sussex-based Littlehampton Welding will fabricate the 65m long structure, which is likely to be built in three sections, floated up the Thames on barges and welded together on site in September.

Whitby Bird's bridge team opted for a propped design rather than a cantilever as it gave a simpler, lighter and more cost effective solution. It is also designed to resist ship impact and river uplift and should survive even if the props are removed.

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