The pedestrian bridge can roll to make way for boats

The Cody Dock can roll 180 degrees without the use of motors or electricity, allowing boats to safely pass underneath.

The pedestrian bridge can roll to make way for boats
The bridge rolls using a hand-drawn winch. (Photo: Jim Stephenson).

Cody Dock Roller Bridge is part of the redevelopment project of an old industrial dock in London, England. Currently, the bridge is the gathering place of the artist community. The bridge over the river can roll 180 degrees to make room for boats to pass below, New Atlas reported on March 3.

During the renovation process, the local government decided to reopen the pier, leading to the need to remove the old dam in the area and build a new pedestrian bridge. Simon Myers, co-founder of the Gasworks Dock Partnership, who is in charge of the dock’s redevelopment, intends to install a conventional pier. However, when architect Thomas Randall-Page heard about the project, he went to Myers and proposed to build a unique rolling bridge with the help of engineer Tim Lucas.

The bridge is partly inspired by Victorian infrastructure such as canal locks, built from weathered steel and oak, and weighs 13 tons. In the usual position, pedestrians and cyclists can cross the bridge. However, when a vessel needs to pass underneath, the steel gears installed at the ends of the bridge allow it to roll on two grooves installed in the concrete joint, greatly increasing the clearance above the boat. The process takes about 20 minutes.

The bridge consists of concrete and scrap metal ballast to counterbalance the weight of the deck, allowing it to roll smoothly 180 degrees before coming to a complete stop. The whole process is so carefully designed that no motor or electricity is needed to move it. Instead, the bridge moves entirely thanks to a hand-drawn winch.

“Heavy structural movement requires a balancing system, and this bridge design works on that principle. We hope the bridge will become an important landmark and symbol for the creative community here.” , Randall-Page said.