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Civil Engineering

Bridge to the future installed on Christmas Day

Author: Leo Martin

Posted: 13 Jan 2020

Carpenters Land Bridge, connecting East Bank to International Quarter London, was installed on Christmas Day 

The 66 metre-long, 7.2 metre-wide and 350-tonne steel Carpenters Land Bridge was installed by GRAHAM and Mace on Christmas Day. Work began at 3.30am on Christmas morning and was completed by 3.30pm that afternoon.

The bridge is a key part of the infrastructure for East Bank, the new £1.1 billion culture and education district being created at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 

The new connection will link museums, theatres, music studios and UAL’s London College of Fashion with the new business district at International Quarter London. GRAHAM is the project’s civil engineering contractor and Principal Contractor for the Installation of Carpenters Land Bridge. Mace is the London Legacy Development Corporation’s project management partner and principal contractor for the East Bank development. 

The GRAHAM team took advantage of the rail network Christmas shutdown to rotate the bridge in to position and minimise disruption to three Network Rail lines, two DLR lines and Carpenters Road.

The bridge was manoeuvred into place using self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) rather than a traditional crane to reduce the risk of cancellation caused by potential high winds.
The bridge deck was transported on the SPMTs along Carpenters Road in a jacked-up position circa 8-9 metres above ground level. It was supported on the SPMTs in a cantilever arrangement with a large counterweight of 450 tonnes to balance the bridge during installation.

The bridge was finally rotated into position across the road and rail lines and lowered into position on top of a cill beam and portal frame, at either end of the bridge.


Leo Martin, GRAHAM Managing Director - Civil Engineering, said: 

“We’re very pleased to have successfully delivered the installation of the new Carpenters Land Bridge at East Bank. I would like to give special thanks to our project team, which worked tirelessly throughout the night of Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day to ensure the bridge was installed without any disruption to the rail network.

“The dedication and commitment of our people are huge assets for us and have been pivotal in delivering these works. Without their hard work during the Christmas period we would not have achieved this major milestone in the East Bank scheme, so it is only right that their efforts are recognised.”

Fantastic progress

Rosanna Lawes, Executive Director of Development at London Legacy Development Corporation, said: 

“Our thanks go to all the hard-working construction staff who have made fantastic progress, especially those from GRAHAM and their contractors who were hard at work over the Christmas holidays to deliver this fantastic new bridge.”

Key moment

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, said: 

“The installation of the Carpenters Land Bridge is another key moment in the East Bank development. It will provide access to local people and visitors from around the globe to the world-leading institutions that are set to be based at the country’s new powerhouse of culture, education, innovation and growth."

Drainage works

With the bridge in place, GRAHAM’s team will complete drainage works to the bridge’s deck, earthing and bonding protection, and install a waterproofing system. The bridge works are due to be completed in spring 2020.