We will certainly consider using Techdek again, although it is unlikely we will find a situation quite as unique as at the Gateshead Millennium Bridge!"
Martin Knight | Wilkinson-Eyre Architects
The choice of cycleway decking played a part in the visual impact of the award-winning design’s dramatic opening motion in which two arches – one forming the deck, the other supporting it – pivot around their springing point to allow shipping to pass beneath. Neatdek offered a unique profile which allowed the appearance of the bridge to change with the angle of viewing.
The Neatdek panels were laid square to the river and trimmed by the inner and outer curves of the cycle deck, following a parabola plan with constantly varying radii. Again, the decking profile complimented the design to help create a variation in appearance, though this effect is only evident to the eagle-eyed.
Neatdek provides a high architectural aesthetic that is manufactured to last. The aluminium decking is extremely versatile and can be used in many other applications, including staging.
Neatdek was laid perpendicular to the main bearing line on the Millenium Bridge project. This means it runs parallel to the centreline of the river. This produced a secondary effect in the variation in the transparency of the material when viewed along or across the bearer ‘T’ bars. The position of the moving cyclist relative to the bearer bars constantly varies between 45 and 90 degrees – it’s very subtle, but a very observant cyclist will notice they are at the centre of the river as they pass through the 90-degree mark.
Neatdek’s T-Bar profile provides a 74 per cent contact area on the surface yet drains water efficiently and its swage-locked construction between the bars enables high structural efficiency. Those qualities – combined with maintenance-free durability and the option of a serrated anti-slip surface for increased safety – make Techdek aluminium grilles ideal for the external conditions and high traffic demands of a bridge.