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Greenwich Reach Swing Bridge

Officially opened on 19th January 2015, the new Greenwich Reach Swing Bridge overcomes the long running obstacle of Deptford Creek. By allowing pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users and people with buggies to continually walk along the river edge the bridge provides a vital link for people who were previously forced to deviate inland onto Creek Road, away from the river Thames, to cross the Deptford Creek.

Key facts


Greenwich, London


Galliard Homes, Raymond Brown Construction Ltd

In Partnership with

Cowi (Flint & Neill), Moxon Architects

The project, which had been in the pipeline for many years, was developed in conjunction with Moxon Architects and Cowi (formally known as Flint & Neill).

Eadon were the Mechanical and electrical consultants for the bridge and were responsible for producing the exemplar design for the operating equipment as well as CE Marking the project to the Machinery Directive. Eadon’s engineers worked on several different aspects of the 50 metre crossing, specifically those associated with the movement and control of the bridge.

The deck, supported by a mast and suspension cables, is mounted to a slewing bearing which is located beneath the deck at the location of the mast. The slewing bearing has integral gear teeth which are driven by four pinons coupled to four electric gear motors.

With an opening time of approximately 150 seconds the bridge design needed to be kept simple and hence reliable.

With this in mind the nose of the bridge is supported on wheels which roll up an inclined track and provide permanent support. Rate controllers in both the fully open and fully closed positions ensure the bridge is brought to a controlled stop at the limits of travel. Additionally, rotational alignment is maintained, even during ship impact, by a loose fitting, electrically actuated, locking pin.

The Greenwich Reach Bridge has gone on to win several awards including winner of the pedestrian bridge category in the 2015 IStructE Structural Awards.

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