Shortlist of four will be unveiled next month

A total of 80 teams have qualified for the competition to design the first new dedicated foot and cycle bridge across the Thames in more than a decade.

The teams have all qualified for the initial stage of the scheme which will span the river between Nine Elms and Pimlico.

It is designed to plug the gap between Chelsea and Vauxhall bridges, serving the rapidly growing south bank Nine Elms area, which includes the new US embassy by Kieran Timberlake, and the redeveloping Battersea Power Station where a number of practices are working including Foster’s and Frank Gehry.

The competitors, who the organisers cannot name at this stage of the procurement process, are drawn from 16 different countries. They will submit their first design ideas over the next few weeks, which will then go on public display.

Next month, the competition’s jury will recommend a shortlist of up to four teams to go through to the next stage with a winner due to be unveiled in late June. The jury includes Wandsworth council leader Ravi Govindia, Graham Stirk from Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners and Cabe chair Pam Alexander.

Govindia said: “The identity of the team behind each design will remain a closely guarded secret up until we name a shortlist to go through to the next stage. This ensures the design itself remains the centre of the debate and that new talent can compete on a level playing field with industry leaders.”

A study by Transport for London, which has committed £26 million to the project – less than the £30 million it has pledged to Thomas Heatherwick’s controversial £175 million Garden Bridge scheme further down the river – says that the bridge will be used by 18,000 cyclists and pedestrians a day.