What makes a footbridge suspended over a canal so amazing that it had to be covered here? Its peculiarity. Feast your eyes on the Merchant Square Footbridge, which has 5 ‘fingers’ raised and lowered like a Japanese fan. The design won a competition a year ago after which it was decided that this bridge will be constructed.
Merchant Square Footbridge has been created by Knight Architects and it crosses London’s Grand Union Canal at Paddington Basin close to its end. The waterway has to be kept clear as per the requirements despite the bridge’s position and therefore, the bridge has to maintain the minimum required clearance.
The bridge has a width of 3m and has been designed to create the look of five separate ‘fingers,’ which are capable of opening up in a staggered formation. Offset bearings have been employed to achieve this effect with the first finger rising at an angle of 67 degrees and the last one rising to provide the required height of 2.5 meters clearance, which is 5.5 meters wide in the middle of the canal.
A particular mechanism for the purpose of counterweight is used so that the leaves of the bridge can be lifted and a hydraulic system is used to carry out this task. Each leaf weighs 6.6 tons and has a crossing span of a little above 17 meters. The Merchant Square Footbridge was opened to public this September.
Here is an amazing video: