Hammersmith Bridge: Five more years until it re-opens

On the fifth anniversary of its closure, Londoners have been warned that it will be at least another five years before Hammersmith Bridge can be reopened to cars.

The Grade II* listed crossing was hurriedly closed to vehicles in 2019 after its owner, Hammersmith and Fulham council, found that its wrought-iron structure was riddled with cracks. Pedestrians and cyclists were temporarily banned the following year, reports the Evening Standard.

he shutdown has brought worse congestion to much of west London, isolated residents in Barnes on the south side of the river, and prompted global ridicule because of Britain’s inability to repair a vital piece of transport infrastructure in its capital.

The estimated cost of making it safe for cars and buses has ballooned from an initial £20million to the current £250million. Around £30million has already been spent by the Labour-run council and DfT in stabilisation work that has allowed the bridge to reopen to pedestrians and cyclists.

However, a more ambitious plan to fully restore the bridge, which would include a toll for drivers, has been caught in political wrangling and is still being considered by DfT officials a year after it was submitted by the local authority.

But council sources said that even if a cheque was written today, the detailed work, including removing the pedestals at the end of the bridge to make it safe for the 21st century, would take another five years.


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