Dukes Meadows Footbridge Held Up at Tilbury Docks

Missing part for lock gate means installation postponed until Monday

The walkway waiting on the dockside at Tilbury. Picture: Will Norman

Plans for the installation of the main span of the Dukes Meadows Footbridge have been delayed due to a problem at Tilbury Docks.

The bridge is now expected to arrive on site at 11am on Monday for installation which should be complete by 2pm.

It is understood that Balfour Beattie, which is currently upgrading the docks, was unable to activate the lock gates due to the absence of a part which needs to be delivered from Holland.

Originally, it was hoped that the 30-metre span, which has been constructed off site, would be loaded onto a pontoon to be transported down the Thames to be put in place this Sunday.

The use of the river, rather than road, to transport the structure was chosen to reduce carbon emissions and to minimise disruption to the surrounding area.

The five supporting piers have already been constructed despite the project being delayed by a significant increase in the silt in the pier dams.

The piers being put in place to receive the main section of the footbridge. Picture: John Todd

The new footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists will improve the journey when travelling along the Thames Pathway into Dukes Meadows.

Currently the Path is severed by the railway line when it reaches the Grade-II listed Barnes Bridge requiring people to take a detour that takes them away from the Thames to pass through a narrow tunnel under the railway.

Visualisation of the completed bridge
Visualisation of the completed bridge

The footbridge will provide views of the river and the Dukes Hollow nature reserve, a natural tidal foreshore which contains diverse waterside flora and is home to two nationally rare snails. The natural foreshore is one of only two remaining in London and the pedestrian bridge will improve access to a peaceful part of the Thames Path.

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July 24, 2022