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Tallest crane in UK lowers new bridge across Lea to link Ballymore’s City Island to Canning Town

08:15 06 August 2014

East London got its newest river-crossing yesterday when Britain’s tallest crane appeared on the banks of the Lea.

Biggest crane in Britain draws onlookers to Leamouth footbridge being lowered across the Lea to link Ballymore's Blackwall 'island' complex to Canning TownBiggest crane in Britain draws onlookers to Leamouth footbridge being lowered across the Lea to link Ballymore's Blackwall 'island' complex to Canning Town

The 600ft high crane, ther tallest in Britain, lowered a footbridge into place linking both sides of the river at Leamouth where a massive ‘island city’ complex is under construction.

The development is on a meadering bend in the river close to where it joins the Thames at Bow Creek.

Arrtist impression of competed footbridgeArrtist impression of competed footbridge

But until now this isolated corner of east London where a complex of office towers, apartment blocks, shops, restaurants, cafés, arts centre and gallery is being built has had only one way in and out.

That’s the busy A1261 Lower Lea Crossing linking Canary Wharf and Poplar in the west to the Royal Docks in the east.

Arrtist impression of new footbridge (bottom right) linking Ballymore's Blackwall 'island' development on loop in River Lea to Canning TownArrtist impression of new footbridge (bottom right) linking Ballymore's Blackwall 'island' development on loop in River Lea to Canning Town

It is just a minute’s distance from Canning Town station on the Jubilee Line and DLR—but that’s the other side of the river and there would be no way of reaching it apart from a long, 20-minute roundabout walk along busy traffic routes.

So Ballymore developers are adding the iron footbridge to connect their massive Island City complex to Canning Town.

The site is still a long way from completion—but for the moment the crane drew the crowds yesterday to see the river crossing lowered into place to joining both sides of the Bow Creek.

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