The V & A Swing Bridge (34m span) connects the Clock Tower precinct to the rest of the Waterfront for pedestrians while allowing marine traffic to pass through into the harbour with minimal waiting time (60 seconds to open or close).

The entire bridge was developed from first principles with no known design precedent and constructed within the contract period of only 15 weeks and within budget (R1.6 million). The bridge is designed to support about 600 people and can operate in wind speeds of up to 80 kph. The tip of the bridge is pushed down in the closed position, effectively prestressing the main bridge girders and allowing for much lighter girder sections than would otherwise be required to resist the full live load. This technique also allowed for the reduction in bulk of the outer stay rods, and ensures that the structure reads lightly, blending easily into its historic nautical environment.

All components of the bridge were designed and built in South Africa. [Completed 1997]


1998 SAACE (now CESA) Award for Engineering Excellence

1999 Winner of South African Steel Construction Awards

1997 SAICE Regional Award for Excellence in Civil Engineering

Project Information

Client: V&A Waterfront

Architect: Gabriel Fagan Architects