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Hammersmith Bridge 'will not reopen to traffic until 2027'

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image captionHammersmith Bridge has been closed to motorists since April 2019

Hammersmith Bridge will not fully reopen to traffic for about six and a half years, it has been revealed.

The 133-year-old bridge was closed entirely in August after cracks in the structure worsened during a heatwave.

The first public meeting of a taskforce created to reopen it heard the crossing required major stabilisation and strengthening work.

The project's director said it was hoped a ferry service for pedestrians would begin operating in the spring.

The taskforce was set up by the Department for Transport (DfT) last month to work with bodies like Hammersmith and Fulham Council, which owns the bridge, and Transport for London (TfL).

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, when the group met on Wednesday evening, Baroness Vere, from the DfT, said they were "looking at six and a half years" before the bridge would open again to vehicles.

Motorists have not been able to use Hammersmith Bridge since April 2019.

image copyrightLondon Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
image captionAll four pedestals that help to hold up the bridge have cracks in them, the meeting heard

Explaining what was involved in the work, the taskforce's project director Dana Skelley said it would take 66 working days to set up a ferry service once funding was released, with the aim of beginning it in the spring.

Four months would then be required to see whether there could be a controlled opening of the crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, which would be dependent on the condition of the structure.

Emergency stabilisation work would then take take seven months, costing £13.9m, while a further 21 months would be needed for permanent stabilisation work, costing another £32m.

Cars and buses would only be allowed on it following strengthening work, which would cost £80m and last for about another 30 months, she said.

media captionAre London’s bridges deteriorating?

London's deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander has questioned whether "some form of toll may be required" to make the bridge financially viable.

"I recognise that if we're going to find a solution to funding this bridge then we need to look at all options," she said.

Related Topics

  • Hammersmith
  • Hammersmith Bridge
  • Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council

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