Canary Wharf Contractors Limited
Canary Wharf, London, UK
This 28m-long twin box girder lifting bridge provides vehicle and pedestrian connection in London’s Canary Wharf. Two hydraulic rams raise the single leaf steel span by 64 degrees to give large vessels access along the waterway.
The steel superstructure is expressed as a set of finely composed triangular facets revealed as the bridge is raised and attention is drawn to the spectacle of the moving structure. The bridge pivots about a horizontal axis formed by two low friction, maintenance free bearings in the east abutment.
The orthotropic bridge deck and box girder design were cleverly optimised to minimize operational loads as well as material use, while the additional embodied carbon necessary for a counterweight was eschewed having considered the whole life benefits of the alternative of higher lifting forces.
The design team have embraced the client’s “Beautiful Ordinary” idiom to produce an ingenious and elegant but modestly understated structure.