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EP picks six for Woolwich footbridge competition

A controversial footbridge plan in London that was ditched last year is back on course with six top architects battling to land the job.

English Partnerships invited six architect-engineer teams to submit fee proposals for bridges crossing North Woolwich Road into Thames Barrier Park. The original 27m-span stressed-ribbon design, by Eva Jiricna and Robert Benaim Associates, was scrapped after concerns about gradients and disabled access.

The new teams include Yee Associates with engineer Cass Hayward & Partners, Chris Wilkinson Architects with Jan Bobrowski and Partners, and Patel Taylor Architects with Anthony Hunt Associates. The other three are Powell- Williams Architects with Robert Benaim & Associates, Ove Arup & Partners, and an in-house team at Newham council technical services.

English Partnership's project manager Tim Griggs said it would choose a winner within a couple of weeks and building was due to start mid-next year. The cost is expected to be around £700,000. The bridge will link the Thames Barrier Park, designed by Patel Taylor Architects with the French firm Groupe Signes, with docks on the north side of the road.

'There has always been a proposal for a bridge, but it has taken some time to get to a point where a scheme can go ahead, and we have reached that point,' said Griggs.

Jez Abbott

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