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South Dock Bridge design concepts published

south dock bridge cropped

Early design concepts have been published for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge to connect London’s Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs.

Proposals for the South Dock Bridge, which could become one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the capital according to Tower Hamlets Council, have been published for a six-week public consultation. A planning application will be made later this year. 

The local authority is leading the design team of Arcadis, architect Allies and Morrison and transport engineer Steer Davies Gleave, with support from Transport for London (TfL).

The crossing is necessary to relieve the demand that will be created by development on the Isle of Dogs and the new Canary Wharf Crossrail station, the council said. The existing Wilkinson Eyre footbridge will reach capacity within three years, according to consultation documents.

Key considerations for the bridge design include the fact that the bank on the north dock is higher than the south dock, therefore the structure must overcome the level difference while also having comfortable gradients for all users.

It must be at least 7.8m wide, but the pedestrian and cycle paths will not be divided as this will require a wider approach path than is possible. The proposed bridge will have a bascule lifting mechanism to let boats through and will be tall enough to let smaller boats through at all times.

It is likely that the bridge will be made of steel, the designs said, as it needs to be “strong, slender and light” to let boats glide underneath and to support a lifting mechanism.

The project has been funded so far using council contributions from developments in the area and TfL support. If plans are approved the crossing is expected to begin construction next year and will open in 2020. 

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