Thursday, October 9, 2014

News: Innovative bridge opening showcases Eadon's expertise

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Design experts at Eadon Consulting have been instrumental in a new London bridge opening in a dramatic fanning motion similar to that of a traditional Japanese hand fan.

The expanding firm has offices in the AMP Technology Centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham. It specialises in highly complex or unusual challenges and its design work spans across a number of sectors, with expertise in mechanical, structural, control and hydraulic design.

Merchant Square Bridge is a newly constructed pedestrian crossing at Paddington Basin that recently opened to the public. Eadon first became involved in the project when they were approached to take part in a design completion in early 2012. Although there was an existing bridge in the location it did not fit with the master plan of the new development, and so working with Knight Architects and AKTII, a design was submitted as part of a design competition and was subsequently successful.

Work on the project began in the summer of 2012, and Eadon were tasked with producing the detailed mechanical design supported by exemplar electrical and hydraulic specifications. The bridge, which is one of several unique bridges along the same stretch of the Grand Union canal, consists of five separate beams. When raised each beam moves at a slightly different speed, meaning that the opening motion is similar to that of Japanese fan.

Beneath each deck is a hydraulic cylinder which is responsible for raising the 26m long fingers to between 16 and 67 degrees. Whilst the external appearance and dimensions of the cylinders are the same, the stroke of each cylinder is limited to give the splayed appearance of the decks in the raised position. To reduce the load on the hydraulic cylinders a sculptural counter weight is located above and behind each of the pivots. These form an area of interest when the bridge is down and a flat surface when in the raised position.

Richard Banks, CEO of European Land, the developer of the Merchant Square scheme, said: "Bridges are a crucial element of the built environment at Merchant Square and, therefore, it was important for the new footbridge crossing the Grand Union Canal to enhance the public realm, not only practically but visually. Knight Architects have achieved this by introducing vertical movement to the design to create a bridge that is highly visible and dramatic."

Eadon Consulting website

Images: Eadon Consulting

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