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The Gallery | ‘Japanese fan’ bridge completed at Paddington

Paddington Basin’s new footbridge across the Grand Union Canal – which resembles a Japanese fan – has been completed.

The deck of the structure, just south of the Merchant Square development, comprises five fabricated steel beams which generate a ‘fanning’ motion when the bridge is raised.

It was designed by Knight Architects and AKT was the structural engineer.

The five beams forming the deck are lifted in sequence by hydraulic pistons, with the first rising to an angle of 80 degrees, and the four other beams at lower increments. The weight of the cantilevered beams is balanced by a counterweight of 40t.

The five cantilevers, which span a width of 25m when the bridge is open to pedestrians, weigh between 6t and 7t each. They consist of slender fabricated steel box girders, tapering in depth at the tip. Each cantilever is 1.2m-wide at the pivot point and 400mm-wide at the tip.

The bridge will only open and close once a week, on Fridays at noon, due to marine traffic.

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