Published: 04/03/2022 By Allan Fuller
New plans developed by specialist engineers Mott MacDonald will begin later this month and the 135-year-old bridge could be fully stablised as early as November. Works to reopen the bridge to buses and cars will take place following completion of the stabilisation project.
The engineers previously helped design large sections of HS2 and Crossrail. Works will cost £8.9million – saving the taxpayer £21 million compared to the previous plans, according to Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
It had previously been suggested the crossing would not fully re-open until 2027. The old bridge first closed in April 2019 after it began to crack under the weight of vehicles passing through.
Up to this point, the bridge had 22,000 cars a day pass over it each day.
It has not been reopened to cars or buses since and a number of plans, including an Uber Boat, have been suggested to help passengers cross the river easily.Hammersmith and Fulham Council also debated introducing a £3 fee to vehicles on the bridge to help cover costs before the new innovative plans were put forward by Mott MacDonald.
Hammersmith Bridge reopened to pedestrians and cyclists on 17 July 2021 with an air conditioning system to prevent the cast iron from cracking further.
Now contractors will fill the bridge’s pedestals with concrete and install steel frames around them to reinforce the crossing.
Cranes will be set up at each end of the bridge to help move the huge steel structures and while the works are taking place cyclists will have to dismount and walk over the bridge instead. Hammersmith and Fulham Council have announced the project will be completed by contractors FM Conway, who were recently tasked with building the Marble Arch Mound. The council are set to pay the £6million needed for this stage of the works but it is expected that the Department for Transport and Transport for London will partly reimburse the council.