Brunel's links wiith Bristol were strengthened in 1832, when, at the request of the Bristol Docks Company, he submitted a report on improving the flow of water and stability of the banks in the Floating Harbour. He would be involved with the docks for the next 15 years. His contributions included a dredging and sluicing system, an enlarged and improved entrance lock, a tubular wrought iron footbridge and the engine house for the Black Rock water pumping station.
Alongside the Howard lock, Brunel designed a wrought iron tubular swing bridge which now lies unused but preserved in situ. Brunel was a pioneer of tubular bridge construction and the design served well on much larger structures like the Saltash bridge on the Devon/Cornwall border.
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