A key footbridge in the centre of the Olympic Park is currently in the process of being lifted into place. A design competition was held for the bridge in the early stages of the project, allowing it to become a key piece of architecture in the Olympic Park. The Central Park footbridge spans over the River Lea at a focal point between the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre, and features both permanent and temporary elements to integrate Games and legacy use.
The permanent legacy structure features two footbridges linked by a central blade-like walkway, creating a ‘Z’ shape to the bridge that spans either side of Carpenters Lock, a unique 1930’s historic structure on the River Lea. During the Games a temporary deck will be placed between the permanent spans of the bridge to increase the width, allowing it to carry increased spectator numbers. The temporary Games-time bridge deck will be surfaced with a recycled rubber material featuring colours of the five Olympic rings.
The first structural steel elements of the Central Park bridge have now been lifted into place with an 8 metre-wide southern span weighing approximately 50 tonnes and a 6 metre-wide northern span weighing around 45 tonnes now installed. Work to lift in the central blade-like walkway will take place later in the Spring. The structural elements of the bridge will then be clad with mirror-finished stainless steel designed to reflect the sunlight off the water in the River Lea.