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Cody Dock Rolling Bridge

Cody Dock is an area of London positioned between the Royal Docks, the Millennium Park and miles of tow paths and wildlands leading to the source of the River Lea in Herefordshire; a route ideal for walkers and cyclists. Cody Dock currently sits empty, but a movement to reinvigorate the area and bring it back to life as a central hub for the local community will see the dock refilled with water from the River Lea and a unique rolling footbridge installed to allow access between the two sides of the river, whilst enabling barges to access the docks for mooring.  

Key facts

Location

Cody Docks, London

Client


Gasworks Dock Partnership

Structural engineering:

Price & Myers

Fabrication and Installation:

Cake Industries

In Partnership with


Thomas Randall-Page and Cake Industries

The bridge echoes Victorian canal engineering techniques, appropriate given the area’s industrial past – built in 1871 and used for unloading coal, the docks later became disused and dammed up so that they were all but forgotten. That is, until the Gasworks Docks Partnership got involved – a charity and social enterprise group led by the local community. The footbridge, designed by Thomas Randall-Page and engineered by Price & Meyers, uses a fully counterbalanced mechanism which is so efficient that it can be operated by hand with no need for assistance from power or motors. Eadon worked with Price & Myers and Cake Industries to provide engineering advice on the mechanical aspects of the bridge’s design.

The bridge is built from weathering steel to minimise maintenance whilst fulfilling its mechanical requirements, and is rolled along a pair of undulating steel racks, causing the footway to invert as it moves around until it is completely upside down, allowing clearance for barges to pass beneath. Following the shape of the rolling track are a series of pegs which ensure that the bridge translates and rolls rather than slides along the track. The 13-tonne bridge is counterweighted with 2.5 tonnes of concrete and scrap steel at the top of the two square hoops positioned vertically, allowing the centre of gravity to remain at their centres. A winch at either end of the eastern rail then function as the manual drive; as one winch pulls the bridge along, so the other releases cable. 

 

The bridge was transported to site in four parts in the Spring of 2022 and constructed over the summer period. It is now open to the public, alongside the soon to complete visitor’s centre.  

Cody Dock’s moving footbridge is a finalist in the Bridges Awards in the category of ‘The Bridges Design Award’, with the winner to be announced in March 2024. 

To find out more about the Cody Dock Footbridge project, visit the dedicated page on Thomas Randall-Page’s website

 

 

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