The Town Centre Link forms a vital pedestrian crossing over one of the busiest sections of rail in the capital for shoppers, residents, workers and up to 80,000 visitors per hour to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Whilst the footbridge has been driven by the extraordinary needs of the Olympic period this summer, it very much serves to address wider aspects of economic and social sustainability by bringing significantly improved connectivity to the area for years to come.
The brief called for a high quality piece of infrastructure which satisfied a highly complex series of constraints. Chief amongst these was how to economically and safely install the structure while maintaining rail movements. The design solution provides for a broad 12m wide deck and fully glazed 5m tall sides, ensuring secure and transparent enclosure within the structure of the Vierendeel truss. The careful use of weathering steel simplifies maintenance requirements over the electrified rail tracks and brings a sophisticated, urban appearance.
The 130m bridge is gently curved in plan and the inner chord of the truss is warped so that it is inclined to 15 degrees at midspan, creating a dynamic sense of movement and increasing the view of the sky where the truss is tallest. The sense of movement is enhanced by a linear paving pattern and a simple, rhythmic lighting design of vertical white luminaires.