Landmark bridge installed while kids were opening their Christmas presents!


A brand-new pedestrian and cycle bridge was installed on Christmas Day, and will soon connect London's East Bank and International Quarter on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The installation team took advantage of the rail network 2019 Christmas shutdown to rotate the bridge in to position and minimise disruption to the three Network Rail lines, two DLR lines. Work began at 3.30am on Christmas morning to install the 66 metre-long, 7.2 metre-wide and 350-ton steel Carpenters Land Bridge, and was successfully completed in under 12 hours.


COWI engineers worked closely with GRAHAM and ALE to produce an innovative method for installing the bridge – by manoeuvring it into place using self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) rather than a traditional crane.

The bridge deck, which was supported by a cantilever with a ~450 tonne counterweight to balance it during installation, was transported on the SPMTs along Carpenters Road in a jacked-up position around 8-9 metres above ground level. It was then rotated across the rail lines and lowered into position on top of a cill beam and portal frames sited at either end of the bridge.

We believe this is the first time this method, which delivered cost savings to the client as well as reducing the risk of cancellation caused by potential high winds, has been used.

"The successful installation of the new Carpenters Land Bridge is testament to the hard work and dedication of the project team." said Paul Sanders, Director of COWI'S UK Bridge team.

"I'm very proud of our engineers who not only produced an efficient design to facilitate the accelerated construction programme, but also for contributing towards the design of the innovative installation method which meant the bridge could be installed with no disruption to other construction activities on site, or the rail network – a feat in itself! I'd also like to thank those who gave up their Christmas Day to be on-site to ensure the successful installation of London's newest landmark bridge."


Carpenters Land Bridge will form a key part of the infrastructure of a new £1.1 billion district being created on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The structure links the new business district at International Quarter London Development (adjacent to the Westfield Shopping Centre) with the New Stratford Waterfront Development which will contain museums, theatres, music studios and UAL's London College of Fashion.

The bridge works are due to be completed in spring 2020 and will be officially opened upon completion of the new development.

Project Team

Asset Owner:

Main Contractor:


COWI services:
Detailed design, construction support, erection support

Get in contact

Emma Wahlberg-Melvig
Head of Communication, Business Line International
Communication, Denmark

Tel: +45 56403896