Bridge creates uninterrupted waterway walk and cycle journey

A bridge and underground pathway opening this week mean pedestrians and cyclists will no longer need to cross a busy road junction to reach a canal network in the East End.

The scheme, opening this Wednesday, alongside the River Lee in Bow means pedestrians and cyclists will no longer need to navigate the dangerous A11 or A12 road junctions at Bow to reach the River Lee water network. Instead they can enjoy a continuous 28 mile waterside route from Limehouse to Hertford and Ware.

The �2.4 million project, managed by British Waterways, included the installation of a 10.6 tonne bridge and the construction of a ‘suspended’ pathway under the A12, taking six months to complete.

The scheme also includes reed-bed planting to help improve water quality and provide a habitat for small fish and other aquatic species.

British Waterways’s enterprise manager, Mark Blackwell, said: “Where previously this route was severed by a busy and dangerous road junction we have created an attractive waterside haven around essential infrastructure which will benefit wildlife as well as cyclists and pedestrians.”

He added that the project will make “a real difference” to thousands of journeys in the area every year and in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics.

A landscaped route from the road to the waterside has also been developed, said to create a mini-haven alongside the busy junction. Handrails and lighting have also been installed along the underground pathway.

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The project was funded by London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, British Waterways, the Olympic Delivery Authority, Transport for London, Design for London and Walk London.

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