Images above: the main span of Barnes Bridge Walkway has been installed – photographs Matt Smith
Installation went “better than expected”
The central span of the new bridge built as a walkway to connect the towpath underneath Barnes Railway Bridge at Dukes Meadows has been installed successfully, after a delayed trip upriver from Tilbury docks.
The bridge was to be brought upstream overnight on Friday 22 – Saturday 23 July but the journey was delayed due to a problem with a dock gate.
As high tide came in on Monday (25 July), Knights Brown floated the structure up the Thames from Tilbury on a pontoon. Engineers from Knights Brown, the company in charge of the build, rode the bridge upstream, passing various iconic London landmarks on their journey and arrived at Barnes Bridge at about 11.20am.
The span of bridge seated itself on its foundations as the tide receded. The pontoon left to go back downstream towards central London at around 2.30pm.
Image above: Approaching Tower Bridge; photograph Knights Brown
Jim Devine, Community Engagement Liaison Manager for Knights Brown told The Chiswick Calendar:
“Balfour Beatty was working on the inner-lock gate at Tilbury. There was a slight problem with a release of the pin… Specialists from the Netherlands came over, they released it and then they got Balfour Beatty back on track [who] worked around the clock to get it open.
“Now the bridge has landed and has been installed, that went very smoothly, better than expected.”
The installation happened a day earlier than we were told on Friday.
Image above: Passing the Houses of Parliament; photograph Knights Brown
Bridge expected to be completed ‘in autumn’
The bridge is one of the lowest carbon and most environmentally conscious bridges in the UK, according to its designer and it has taken four years’ planning to get to this stage. Installation is due to be completed by the autumn.
Cllr John Todd, who has overseen the project on behalf of LB Hounslow told The Chiswick Calendar he was delighted that after four years’ work the project was coming to fruition.
“It’s a wonderful engineering triumph” he said.
Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury Tweeted:
“Really exciting bit of engineering, I wish I’d seen it go in.
“This cantilevered walkway will make for a great (& much safer) route along the north/Middlesex bank of the Thames. @LBofHounslow & partners”
Watching the installation, Michael Buckley Tweeted this video on Monday:
— Michael Buckley (@lifesnot2short) July 25, 2022
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