Paddington's Rolling Bridge, bridge opening

Also called Curling Bridge, it is a pedestrian bridge located in Paddington basin.

The Rolling Bridge is a type of bascule bridge completed in 2004 as part of the Grand Union Canal office and retail development project.

Created by Thomas Heatherwick, the creator of the Olympic brazier at the 2012 Olympics, it is the only bridge in the world with this structure.

Photo: ©Copyright moska and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The bridge is made up of eight triangular parts that are hinged at the walkway level and joined at the top by two-part linkages that may be compressed towards the deck using hydraulic cylinders located vertically between the sections. It is 12 metres long when open and appears like a regular bridge.

To allow boats to pass, hydraulic pistons are engaged, and the bridge crumples until its two ends meet, making an octagonal shape half the width of the river.

It’s difficult to describe how it works, but you may get a sense from the video below.

If you want to see it in action, it normally opens at 12 p.m. on Fridays and at 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

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