Photo Credit: Jim Stephenson

An iconic new footbridge installed in Newham, East London, has been protected for future generations to enjoy thanks to the unique vision of designer Thomas Randall-Page.

The award-winning cube-shaped Cody Dock Rolling Bridge is a feat in architectural design and the first-of-its-kind – able to turn a complete 180 degrees using two manual winches to allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross, as well boats to pass underneath.

Cake Industries, the main contractor and fabricator for the project, called on South East Galvanizers Ltd (part of Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd) to provide its hot-dip molten zinc finish to parts of the steelwork – helping to prevent it from corrosion and rust for many decades.

The bridge overlooks Canning Town and sits within an area of Cody Dock steeped with historical importance, including links to Edwardian industrial design and local iron production. A huge ex-industrial dock, the area is now home to a dynamic artistic community who are in the process of transforming the area from dereliction into an oasis of creativity and creation.

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David Knight of Cake Industries explained: “This was an extremely complex and challenging project, with a tight budget and tight tolerances, as well as untested form. We used South East Galvanizers to process around 110kg of steel used for the bridge’s balustrades and handrails, providing a durable finish whilst contrasting with the surrounding weathering steel.

“The galvanized parapets are formed from hand bent and woven reinforcing bars, with hairpin pieces slotted onto the longitudinal frames before being bent and welded into place to create a trussed handrail. These needed to be lightweight to ensure they could be folded down to allow extra headroom for boats when the bridge rotates and opens. The whole assembly was dipped in one piece in South East Galvanizer’s 10 metre bath before being brought back to us for installation.”

Neil Pearson, Commercial Manager at South East Galvanizers, added: “Though we only played a small role, it’s fantastic to know that galvanizing played a key part in both protecting the steel from corrosion and rust and for its unique aesthetic finish which complements the industrial surroundings.”

Thomas Randall-Page approached Simon Myers of Gasworks Dock Partnership who had planned a traditional bascule bridge for the site. With the backup of esteemed engineer Tim Lucas, he made a counter proposal inspiring Simon to take a leap of faith with an unproven concept for a totally new typology of bridge.

About Cody Dock Rolling Bridge

Designer-Thomas Randall-Page

Structural Engineering-Price & Myers

Mechanical Engineering-Eadon Consulting

Fabrication and Installation-Cake Industries

Funding-The National Lottery Heritage Fund

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