Pier shells for Dukes Meadows Footbridge Barnes, South London

Our bespoke precast team manufactured pier shells for use within the Dukes meadow pedestrian bridge in Chiswick. The iconic footbridge was constructed for the London Borough of Hounslow, under Barnes Bridge to facilitate a safe and inviting route along the Thames Path.

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Dukes Meadows is one of the largest open spaces in London and attracts over one million visits per year. As part of the Dukes Meadows masterplan, a much needed bridge was required which would allow pedestrians to walk under the Barnes Bridge rather than having a lengthy diversion around the railway line to continue their way along the famous Thames Path. The enhanced route improves accessibility and safety for pushchairs, mobility scooters and wheelchairs, and improves pedestrian flow for residents and visitors.

According to its designers, Moxon Architects, the bridge is one of the lowest carbon and most environmentally conscious bridges in the UK, partly due to the use of hollow fabricated sections rather than the original planned use of solid steel. The main contractor on the project was Knights Brown.

The bridge was brought in to position in sections, either by road, or via river by Red7Marine floating the spans in at high tide and then allowing them to seat themselves on the foundations as the tide receded, using two hydraulic jack legs. This negated the need to require a rail line possession which would have resulted in significant disruption to the 2 million passengers that use the associated railway every year.

Wooden Shell
Dukes Meadows Footbridge Barnes
Pier Cap Install
Pier Cap Precast Install


Pier shells were created in order to provide a safe and secure platform for the bridge spans to sit on. These were placed over the reinforcement cage. The use of precast concrete pier shells, rather than constructing on site using shuttering and in situ methods, offered significant time savings, as well as reduced wastage of materials.

The positioning of the pier supports was carefully considered to provide the minimum number sufficient to support the weight of the bridge. The area is popular with a high volume of rowing traffic and the careful positioning of the pier shells and reinforcement resulted in a smaller cross sectional area, requiring less foundations and offering less obstruction to the waterway.

Watch Red7Marine install span 2 of the Dukes Meadows Bridge

How we helped

We supplied a total of 9 pier shells which were constructed using wooden moulds, carefully constructed to provide their unique curved shape. Each of the units were 2.05 meters long by 1.1 metres wide and weighed approximately 1.8 tonnes.

The units were manufactured using a 40% GGBS mix cement replacement due to the saline conditions the units would be operating in. One of the hidden benefits of using this mix was that it also offered carbon savings compared with using a mix with a higher percentage of cement in it.

Learn more about our low carbon concrete solutions.

Dukes Meadows Footbridge Pier Caps
Footbridge footings
Dukes Meadows Footbridge Pier Caps
Dukes Meadows Footbridge

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