Leamouth footbridge

The winning design for Leamouth Bridge was a bascule, cable-stayed structure with a 60m mast. Image: JSA Architecture.

The winning design for Leamouth Bridge was a bascule, cable-stayed structure with a 60m mast. Image: JSA Architecture.


Peter Curran. Ramboll

Peter Curran

Spearhead Director, Major Crossings, UK
T: +44 7736 497 481

Stepan Ruzicka

MSc PhD CEnv MCIWEM, Director, Environment and Health
T: +44 2076 315 291
Mohsen Vaziri. Ramboll

Mohsen Vaziri

Head of Ground Engineering, London
T: +44 20 7631 5291

When Leaside Regeneration Ltd ran a competition for the design of a pedestrian and cycle bridge, they called for a bridge that is safe and attractive, and provides a direct link to London Underground, overground train and planned bus stops across the River Lea — linking historic wharfs such as Trinity Buoy Wharf on the Thames with the transport interchange.

In 2003, Ramboll and JSA Architecture won a major international competition to design a pedestrian and cycle bridge which crosses the River Lea close to the point where it joins the Thames, opposite the Millennium Dome. A new bridge was integral to plans for redeveloping the semi-derelict docklands of the Leamouth Peninsula in East London. A major hurdle for potential inhabitants was the area's comparative isolation, particularly from the transport hub of Canning Town.

Our winning design was for an elegant bascule, cable-stayed structure with a 60m mast, and was described by the judges as 'iconic'. To allow river traffic to pass, it would have opened with a unique tilt-and-pivot mechanism. When fully open, the bridge was designed to bring the mast to rest alongside the up-ramp, making maintenance more straightforward.

To facilitate access, we split the northern approach, making the bridge Y-shaped in plan with links both to ground level and to Lower Lea Crossing, which is an elevated dual carriageway with a pedestrian walkway on the bridge-side only. All ramps would have had a maximum gradient of 1 in 20 for the equal convenience of cyclists, pedestrians and wheelchair users.

Unfortunately, the proposed £3.5m Landmark Bridge fell through in 2005 after funding was withdrawn.


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