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Finally: new Leamouth Bridge emerges

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A new 80m-bridge designed by Davies, Maguire and Whitby has been installed across the Lea River in east London - ending a long-running saga over the proposed crossing

A link between the Leamouth Peninsula - now rebranded London City Island - and Canning Town has been on the cards for more than a decade.

In 2001 the Peabody Trust revealed a proposal by Cartwright Pickard for an ‘inhabited bridge’ spanning the river. However that scheme was scrapped a year later and the housing corporation launched a new design competition for a £2million pedestrian and cycle bridge.

In 2003 six architecture firms were shortlisted for the project which had a target opening date of 2005. The winning design - a £3.5million pivoting bridge by Whitby Bird - had its funding withdrawn by the Thames Gateway Delivery Unit in 2005.

Wilkinson Eyre was appointed in 2004 to design a larger bridge linking the north of the peninsula. But in 2006 the practice was replaced by Thomas Heatherwick who proposed a visually striking concept linking the bridge to the towers on the new peninsula.

However due to the complexity of the design Heatherwick’s proposals were scrapped in 2008 and ‘a placeholder’ design was put forward which established the engineering parameters which the bridge had to achieve.

In 2008 SOM began working on designs for a bridge as part of the masterplan for the larger regeneration of the area. In 2011 the company won planning for a reworked masterplan of its Leamouth Peninsula development, which included a 1,706 home, 1,650,000m² project which included contributions from John Pardey Architects, Jesticao + Whiltes, Glenn Howells Architects and Lovejoys.

Last week the new pre-fabricated steel bridge was lifted into place last week (5 August) using a 600ft crane and has been designed to be raised vertically to allow boat access up the Lea River.

John Sisk & Son was appointed principal contractor by Ballymore Properties to carry out the design and construction of the bridge which was constructed in three parts and assembled on site

The bridge forms a vital part of the redevelopment of the isolated brownfield site between the Lea River and the Thames and allows access to the future crossrail station at Canning Town as well as links to the Jubilee and Central lines and DLR.

In January 2014 Glenn Howells Architects took over the reins of the £700million scheme and rebranded the scheme as London City Island.




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