Particular challenges faced on the project include the multi-span cable stayed structure itself, the need to maintain structural separation from the rail bridge and the design of foundations capable of withstanding impact from 3000-ton ships. The proximity of railway lines, tube tunnels and the navigable river led to numerous construction challenges. Close liaison with Network Rail, the Port of London Authority and London Underground was essential.
The Hungerford footbridges (also known as the Golden Jubilee Bridges) are constructed next to a Victorian railway bridge, which was itself built on the site of a suspension footbridge by Brunel. Bazalgette’s embankment forms the north bank of the river, and the Royal Festival Hall is nearby on the south.
The bridge was constructed at the same time as the Millennium Bridge, which suffered from well-publicised vibration when it opened. WSP therefore carried out a detailed dynamic analysis of the bridge, working on advice from Cambridge University. The bridge was tested in several ways, including a walking test by 150 Westminster Council employees, and no problems were observed.
The area therefore required a bridge of high architectural quality as well as an engineering structure capable of withstanding ship impact, pedestrian and wind loads. Architects and engineers worked closely together to achieve a design that successfully fulfilled all these criteria. The bridge opened in 2003.