PRESS RELEASE: A new footbridge across the Thames in Taplow has officially opened to the public
Designed by COWI with Knight Architects for Berkeley Homes (Oxford and Chiltern) Ltd, the new 35m long span will carry pedestrians over the River Thames from Glen Island to Ray Mill Island, linking the new Taplow Riverside mixed-use development with Maidenhead.
On Friday 2 November, representatives gathered to celebrate the grand unveiling of the new footbridge at Taplow Riverside, Theresa May (Prime Minister and MP for Maidenhead) attended the opening, cutting a ribbon and crossing the bridge from Taplow to the Maidenhead side.
The regeneration scheme by Berkeley Homes is set to transform the waterfront along this reach of the Jubilee River and the River Thames. The sensitive and elegant design of the new footbridge provides the quality and appearance required to protect and enhance the character of the two riverside Conservation Areas.
The shallow arch form of the design is inspired by Brunel's nearby Maidenhead Bridge, and is echoed in the slender new steel structure. It provides the site with a modest riverside landmark which is conceived as a destination for pedestrians as well as a cross-river connection.
The fabricated triangular-section steel arches form a simple and elegant composition of deck and twin structural arches. Slender steel plate hangers emphasise this attractive composition and ensure the structure is lightweight and transparent in long river views. Fabrication of the bridge sections was carried out by SH Structures.
COWI lead designer, Ian Firth, said that he was delighted with the outcome. "The slenderness and transparency of the elegant structure has been a primary objective throughout. We were able to stabilise the arches using the steel hangers and thereby trim the size of the triangular section down to a minimum." The design also allowed the entire bridge to be assembled and erected as a single piece using a floating pontoon.
Now that the bridge has opened, Berkeley Homes is inviting members of the local community to submit suggestions for an official name, to be announced at a naming ceremony in Spring 2019.