Engineering

This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase a high tech and aesthetically pleasing example of British engineering, appropriate to the proximity of the architecture at Canary Wharf and the local engineering heritage of Isambard Kingdon Brunel.

The bridge would have a bank – bank span of approximately 400m (depending on location and engineering requirments) and it is reasonable to assume it would need to offer the same clearances as Tower Bridge – 8.6m (closed) 42.5m (open)

The opening width of the bridge (for the navigable channel in the center part of the river) would need to be around 170m depending on the location.

Opening Bridge Options

Bascule Bridge

Technically this is a bridge which pivots out of the way,  balanced by a counterweight.  The counterweight may be hidden (eg Tower Bridge) or be visible as in this example:

ReForm/Elliott Wood design – closed
ReForm/Elliott Woods design – open

This design is being proposed at http://www.rotherhithebridge.london   and is currently the only design to have been made public.

 

Pros

  • Elegant, iconic and functional design
  • Navigation safety is enhanced by having only two piers in the river and by the bridge lifting up and away from river traffic

Cons

 

  • As a high structure, wind load must be considered within the design parameters

 

Vertical lift

Original Sustrans design – open

Jacques Chaban-Delmas Bridge, Bordeaux

The original Sustrans proposal was for a vertical lift bridge whereby the central span of the bridge rises vertically.  This usually requires towers containing counterweights at each end of the span.

Pros

  • Navigation safety is enhanced by having only two piers in the river and by the bridge lifting up and away from river traffic

Cons

  • Bulky towers – poor visual impact
  • Fixed maximum navigation height

Double Swing Bridge


The Varvarivskyi Bridge – largest swing bridge in Europe

The movable span rotates about a central point.  In order to provide a safe width the Rotherhithe Bridge would have to be constructed as two swing bridges.  Note the use of concrete bollards in the river to provide collision protection.

Pros

  • Capable of elegant and functional design (relative to a lift bridge)

Cons

  • greater length of navigation hazard than a simple bridge opening
  • Greater visual impact when open
  • Extensive collision protection –  visual impact and navigation hazard whether open or closed

 

Other bridge types