Chiswick Park Footbridge Enters Second Phase Of Development

Bringing relief to congestion at Gunnersbury Station a bit closer

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The long-awaited Chiswick Business Park footbridge has completed the second phase in its development and is on course for opening in December 2018. It is hoped that the new bridge will increase the transport accessibility of the office development and reduce pressure on Gunnersbury station which is currently experiencing overcrowding.

Four giant v-shaped steel legs weighing up to eight tons each, have been installed on the the 135 metre long footbridge which will link the Chiswick Park campus with Chiswick Park underground station.

giant steel legs for the footbridge

The next phase will be in January, when components of the three bridge spans will arrive at Chiswick Business Park in 27 deliveries over two weeks. After that comes the decking and handrails which will involve another 10 deliveries. Included will be 200 small handrail lights, 36 spotlights with dimmer sensors for the bridge arches, and security cameras for each end.

After that the task will be to assemble the bridge’s three individual spans at Chiswick Business Park. Each one will weigh around 140 tons. In June the spans will be lifted into place by a 500 ton lift-capacity crawler crane, while Network Rail will switch off the rail line for 27 hours. Work is due to complete in December 2018.

Apart from reducing walking time from Chiswick Park tube station to four minutes, the footbridge will also improve the Park's connection to the wider transport network and to the Elizabeth Line at Ealing Broadway, which also opens in December 2018.

The designers, Expedition Engineering and Useful Studios, say the bridge will be “sustainable, elegant and efficient”.

Graham White, Chief Executive of Chiswick Park, said: “I’m delighted by the progress of the bridge and the benefits it will bring. Chiswick Park is a much sought-after business location, and we’re already served by two underground stations and easy access to the strategic road network. With the bridge, we will now also benefit from even faster access to the local transport network, and to shops and restaurants along Chiswick High Road.”

The project itself is the result of a partnership between Chiswick Park, the London Boroughs of Hounslow and Ealing, Network Rail and Transport for London and has been long awaited.

Catherine Ramsden, founder of architectural practice Useful Studio, worked closely with the project lead, Expedition Engineering, on design of the bridge.

She says of the bridge: “It’s a beautiful marriage of engineering and architecture. It’s very slender, and we’re proud of the fact that we have made it more sustainable by minimising the
amount of material involved. So it has very slender arches and deck. The balance of stability, performance and aesthetics has led to a very pared-back and elegant solution.

“The structure is built of ‘corten’ weathering steel. Corten is a deep rusty orange colour which
complements Chiswick Park and the landscape of Gunnersbury Triangle. The beauty of it is that you don’t ever have to paint it, as it weathers and forms its own protective finish. That means you have minimal maintenance, which is important when spanning over a rail line. This approach extends to all the materials, with a hardwood timber walking surface and a stainless steel balustrade”.

The decking walkway is made from Cumaru, also known as Brazilian Teak, which is durable and resistant to decay. “The idea is to put the bridge in place for a hundred years, with natural weathering and minimal care.” she adds.

December 20, 2017

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