The installation operation yesterday (14 August) involved two self-propelled modular transporters (SMPT) rotating the 185t deck through 90° into installation position and lowering it onto its supports, before the barge was driven away.
The 28m single-leaf bascule bridge has been designed by Cowi (structural engineering), Knight Architects and Eadon Consulting (mechanical engineering) to provide a road and pedestrian link on Water Street. Client for the project is Canary Wharf Contractors. The main contractor is Qualter Hall & Co, the bridge was fabricated by Victor Buyck Steel Construction and the concrete works have been carried out by Kilnbridge Construction Services. The lighting designer is Studio Fractal.
Twin hydraulic cylinders underneath the eastern end of the steel span will raise the deck to allow large vessels to pass; only in this raised position will the bridge reveal its steel structure and mechanical parts.
Martin Knight, director at Knight Architects, said: "It has been very rewarding to see this elegant piece of infrastructure become reality. For us, the principal challenge was to match the finely tuned engineering constraints of a lifting structure with the 'beautiful ordinary' - an understated architectural expression which reflects the high quality of the surrounding public realm and provides an essential link to Canary Wharf’s new district."
Cowi engineer Vlad Opanasiuk added: “As intended, it looks like a simple design - but there is nothing simple about this bridge! 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.”
He added that the bridge has a relatively wide deck to create an open space for pedestrians. “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,” he said.
The bridge’s location also posed a challenge, said Cowi engineer and project manager Musa Chunge: “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.”