The 185t deck of a moveable bridge in Canary Wharf in London has been installed, after it was transported on a 36-hour voyage across the North Sea from its fabrication site in Belgium.
The 28-metre single-leaf bascule bridge has been designed by engineers COWI, Knight Architects and Eadon Consulting. It has twin hydraulic cylinders underneath the eastern end of the steel span which will raise the deck and allow large vessels to pass.
Placed at Water Street and called the Water Street Bridge, the road and pedestrian structure crosses the southern end of Bellmouth Passage.
Cowi engineer Vlad Opanasiuk said: “Both the substructure and superstructure required bespoke structural details to achieve the understated appearance envisaged by the architects.
“The deck needs to be light enough to be raised but strong enough to support the crossing vehicles and pedestrians. We therefore selected an orthotropic steel deck solution, which is lighter and more flexible than a concrete one, significantly reducing the power required to raise it.
“To create an open space for pedestrians, the bridge has a relatively wide deck. To provide the necessary torsional stiffness and a visually clean soffit, the main longitudinal girders, which run along the edges of the deck, are tapering closed box sections.
“It’s been a fascinating project to work on. Solving complex engineering challenges to bring brilliant designs like this to reality is what makes being an engineer so rewarding.”
Cowi engineer and project manager Musa Chunge added: “The Jubilee Line runs below the waterway and parallel to the bridge so we worked closely with Canary Wharf and TFL to develop a safe piled foundation design for the bridge abutments and the marine causeway that forms the eastern approach.”
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