Monday, October 30, 2006

Rolling Bridge...

Total Length: 45 ft
Clearance: less than two feet.
Where: Grand Union Canal, Paddington Basin, London, UK
Opened: 2004
Use/Status: Pedestrian Footbridge / in use
Official Name: The Rolling Bridge at Grand Union Canal
Crosses: Grand Union Canal
Design: Thomas Hetherwick Studio
Engineer: SKM Anthony Hunt with Packman Lucas
Builder: Littlehampton Welding, Ltd.
Structural Type: Curling Bridge

This playful steel and timber footbridge set in a new residential and retail quarter of London appears normal enough to pedestrians until a boat comes along. At the press of a button, hydraulic rams built into the handrails curl the eight sections into a tight octagonal ball, like an armadillo under siege. The bridge rolls up for the weekend, each Friday at noon, a spectacle that draws huge crowds of tourists and note-taking engineers. The Rolling Bridge won the British Structural Steel Design Award in 2005.


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