The 530-metre long Barrier Bridge is a multi-span, double-leaf bascule bridge that would be situated immediately upstream or downstream of the Thames Barrier. Yellow steel box girders support an aluminium mesh deck and with a clearance of 15 metres above high water spring tides, most boats will be able to pass underneath. However when larger boats do need to move through (about 10 times per day), the multiple piers, each with their own counterweights, create a series of opening spans. This provides certainty that at least one section of the river be unrestricted when it is needed.
River crossings have always been vital to London’s social and economic growth, but the lack of crossing points over the eastern Thames has been recognised as a significant barrier to movement and a limiting factor to growth in this part of the city for some time. Similar schemes have been difficult to deliver because of the technical difficulties and cost of building bridges where the Thames is wide and frequently transited by large ships. New fixed road bridges have been proposed at Gallions Reach and Belvedere to replace the Woolwich Ferry, but these high-level links with their very long approach ramps will not be suitable for pedestrians or cyclists.
The bridge would have landings at Barrier Park to the north and the gardens to the south so connecting the TfL Green Chain south of the river to walks and cycle routes extending up the Lea Valley to Stratford.