London has a new Thames bridge, although it doesn't so much cross the river as swoop out beneath another bridge and reconnect on the far side. It provides a super little shortcut on the Thames Path. It opened last Friday. It's at the southeasternmost point of the London borough of Hounslow. It has its own website. It's of fairly niche use. It's ratherswish.
Imagine you're walking round Dukes Meadows, the recreational outpost at the southern tip of Chiswick. It's mostly sports pitches, boat clubs, more sports pitches and a golf course, so the main reason for being here would be because you're on a nice riverside stroll or jog, perhaps walking a dog. Formerly when you got to Barnes Bridge you had to deviate inland to a subway under the railway and back down the other side, a half-kilometre detour, but now you can follow the Dukes Meadows Footbridge and get through much quicker. Barnes Bridge also has its own footbridge providing direct cross-river access to Barnes so now you can easily get to that from both flanks, not just one.
The footbridge has a steel and aluminium structure which was floated upriver last summer (in stages) and rests on a series of piers. It bends quite a bit as it weaves out from the riverbank, ducks underneath the railway bridge and lands on the other side. It wiggles further upstream than downstream because you can't just touch down anywhere in a nature reserve. It has inbuilt lamps which illuminate at night and at times of particular gloom. I wonder if they'll close it off during the Boat Race or whether it'll become a popular vantage point. It'll be an even better shortcut once connections to either side are improved. I liked it, though as a non-local I can't imagine using it very often.
Ian Visits has a lot more photos. ChiswickW4.com have been following the story foryears. Add it to your list of new bits of London infrastructure you probably ought to go and see sometime.