The new 'Bridge to Nowhere'

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Artists’ depiction showing the new bridge looking towards the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark.

This week the first photographs have emerged showing London’s new ‘Bridge to Nowhere.’ The aerial photographs are without a doubt the most dramatic of these – Jason Hawkes being the photographer and the aerial views being some of his fantastic compositions taken from a helicopter.

The original ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ was closed some time ago and surprise! Its been rebuilt. Its amazing they managed to get the plans passed and the new bridge built with very few being any wiser as to what was happening – apart from that artist’s depiction I found on a little known website.

Clearly the old structure was thought superfluous. It was closed sometime ago due to being unsafe and sadly it meant no one could use it. Thus there was an urgency for a new one to be built so people could once again enjoy Burgess Park from an elevated point.

Its clearly a suspension bridge these days and it soars higher than the old one. If one has been to this part of Burgess Park before it will be remembered there used to be footpaths underneath the older crossing. The land around it has now been revetted and its all lawn, so those crossing the bridge can admire a sea of grass. Trees are now kept further away from the bridge’s periphery and this helps to give maximum impact to the new structure, and not only that it offers better all round views from the elevated walkway itself.

Its excellent news now London has become a national park city!

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The erm… new bridge in South East London. Source: Creative Boom

I am sure at this point some might be thinking ‘this story is bullshit – for a start Jason Hawkes never takes pictures of Burgess Park.’ He does as a matter of fact. This is an earlier attempt of his showing the park with the old bridge visible in the distance.

Note how carefully the above picture has been cropped to leave out all the other elements of Burgess Park. What happened here is sometimes a photograph needs to be creatively edited in order to provide maximum impact and this is certainly one of those. Leaving other elements in the picture would have created distractions and taken away from the drama of the bridge itself.

People examining the photograph quite closely will no doubt claim that vast expanse of stuff doesn’t look like grass. I can assure you its grass – its just got a bit brown – look at the faded patches of green which remain. Isn’t that proof enough?

As for the grass looking, well, a bit uneven one must assume the grass has been recently seeded thus needs time to settle. Its been allowed to grow quite long so its got all quite lumpy. Clearly no one has been to mow it yet. They’ll first need a scythe to deal with all that uneven grass!

And that is the reason why you wont see anyone milling around the base of the bridge just yet! Its all out of bounds whilst the grass gets properly established. When this grass does get trimmed it’ll look real nice and people will then be allowed in their dozens to come and picnic or just sit, maybe stand, on the vast lawns around the bridge and look up to admire this most stupendous of new structures.

I believe the new bridge is fully accessible. Its evidently not shown in the photograph but its quite certain there’s a series of ramps much like, you know, those found on the Millennium bridge. A pair of funiculars/inclinators like that also found at the Millennium bridge service either end of the new structure – this ensures no-one gets excluded from enjoying the crossing – and that’s the fun element of the whole thing!

The bridge’s official opening, when was that? Well this is the big mystery. One can see hordes of people in the picture crossing the new bridge so one wonders how they knew it would be open… Who invited them – was it by letter or email? And why did the event not get reported in the press?

Clearly the answer is some things in life people just never get to hear about!

If you didn’t know what the old bridge looked like here are a couple of my own pictures taken quite some time ago…. these are not really what I would call fair comparisons with any changes that may have arisen in the meantime.

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The old lattice structure looking east towards Old Kent Road. The bridge once crossed the Grand Surrey Canal.

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On the bridge when it was still open. Its a shame some of these things seem destined not to last….

Jason Hawkes website

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