New bridge completes 28 mile car-free route into Olympic Park

A new bridge will give walkers and cyclists uninterrupted travel on a 28-mile stretch of the River Thames into the Olympic Park at Stratford and into Hertfordshire.

Part of a scheme reconnecting the River Lee Navigation towpath through Newham and Tower Hamlets, the �2.4million structure was lowered into place at the A11/A12 crossing in Bow on Friday.

It was paid for by British Waterways, London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, the Olympic Delivery Authority, Transport for London, Design for London and Walk London. The need for an improved crossing is driven by developments at the Games site and the new homes being built on its fringes.

It links the area with the rest of the capital’s towpath routes used by cyclists and walkers, as well as providing a traffic-free connection to the Olympic Park.

A floating 50-tonne crane was used to lift the 16.25m by 3m wide bridge into place.

Mark Blackwell, British Waterways’ principal project manager, said the bridge creates a “fly-under” the busy road junction.

“The new scheme means pedestrians and cyclists no longer need to leave the towpath and will be able to enjoy an uninterrupted journey,” he added.