London’s Cody Dock Rolling Bridge is a one-of-a-kind footbridge that tumbles over to let boats pass. Designed by Thomas Randall-Page, the bridge has a unique method of allowing boats to pass under it. The Cody Dock Rolling Bridge is a part of a larger redevelopment project of a former industrial dock area in London. The dock is now a creative hub for an artistic community.
To reopen the dock to a nearby river’s tidal waters, an old dam had to be removed, and a new footbridge had to be constructed. Simon Myers, who’s in charge of redeveloping the dock, was planning to install a traditional bascule bridge for the site. However, architect Thomas Randall-Page approached Myers with a counter proposal for a more ambitious rolling bridge, and the idea was supported by engineer Tim Lucas.
The bridge is partly inspired by Victorian-era infrastructure like canal locks and is constructed from weathered steel and oak. It weighs around 13 tonnes and takes around 20 minutes to fully roll into position for a boat to pass. In its usual position, cyclists and pedestrians simply make their way across like a normal bridge. But when a boat needs to pass under it, steel teeth installed on the ends of the bridge allow it to roll on a pair of tracks that are installed into the concrete abutments on either bank, significantly increasing headroom for the boats. The process takes about 20 minutes, and it’s powered by hand winches, requiring no motors or electricity to move.
The Cody Dock Rolling Bridge is an ambitious community-led regeneration project, and it’s expected to become an important landmark and a symbol of the dynamic creative community that is growing there. The bridge includes scrap metal and concrete ballast, countering the weight of the deck and enabling it to smoothly roll through an entire 180 degrees until it comes to a stop at a fully inverted position. The bridge’s design works on the principle of equilibrium, which is the same principle that Victorian-era infrastructure like canal locks used to move large heavy structures efficiently.
Randall-Page’s press release stated that “raising, swinging, sliding, folding, and tilting…the solutions to the challenge of the opening bridge are many and varied.” However, the Cody Dock Rolling Bridge’s potential for public spectacle is inherent in the opening of a bridge. Its unique design and impressive engineering make it a one-of-a-kind bridge that is sure to capture the attention of anyone who sees it in action.
In conclusion, the Cody Dock Rolling Bridge is a unique and creative solution to a common problem that has been solved in many ways in the past. Its design is inspired by Victorian-era infrastructure, but it’s a thoroughly modern and innovative solution to the challenge of opening a bridge. The bridge is an ambitious community-led regeneration project that is sure to become an important landmark and a symbol of the dynamic creative community that is growing in the area. The Cody Dock Rolling Bridge is a testament to the power of creativity and engineering to solve complex problems and create something truly remarkable.
Source: Thomas Randall-Page