Greenwich Reach Swing Bridge, UK


Photo Credit: COWI, Moxon Architects, Simon Kennedy Photography

Project Data:


Galliard Homes


Mouth of Deptford Creek, River Thames, Greenwich

Service Dates:

2013 - 2014


Conceptual design, detailed design, construction support

Design Team:

COWI (Flint & Neill), Moxon Architects, Eadon Consulting (M&E)


Raymond Brown Construction, SH Structures, QualterHall

Project Description:

This award-winning steel pedestrian swing bridge carries the Thames footpath across the end of Deptford Creek and was delivered as part of a major new housing development by Galliard Homes on the east side. It comprises a 44m cable stayed main span over the creek, with a 9m back span containing a 130 tonne counterweight, all supported on a slewing ring within a circular concrete pier.

Faceted planes form the deeper and visually more massive back span, reflecting its function as a counterweight, and then transition into the more delicate main span with a central spine box supporting diagonal struts to the edge of the deck. This plated concept continues in the skeletal mast, where 40mm flat plates supported by diagonal stiffeners create an open vierendeel type structure. The high strength stainless steel stays support the main span on the centreline and divide at the mast to support the tail either side of the access stairs. Timber benches at each stay anchor point in the main span keep pedestrians away from the overhead stays and provide a rest point from which to enjoy views of the Thames and the Canary Wharf development to the north.

The bridge was assembled on the east side in the open position, and then swung out over the creek to complete the Thames footpath. It was completed in January 2015.


Photo Credit: COWI, Moxon Architects


Photo Credit: COWI, Moxon Architects


Photo Credit: COWI, Moxon Architects


Photo Credit: COWI, Moxon Architects

Note: The design of this project was carried out while working with COWI (previously Flint & Neill) and it is illustrated here with permission.