Hammersmith Bridge to reopen to pedestrians and cyclists.
The 134-year-old crossing was entirely closed last August when cracks in the pedestals worsened during a heatwave. Engineers have given the go-ahead after completing safety investigations and thanks to the success of a system to control the structure’s temperature.
Both local authorities on either side of the bridge said they were pleased it was now safe to reopen partially. Some 12,000 pedestrians and 4,000 cyclists used it each day before the closure. The bridge has been closed indefinitely to motorists since April 2019 when “critical faults” in the cast-iron casing were found.
A report prepared for Hammersmith Council said checks on the four pedestals and the supporting chains had provided the necessary reassurance.
“The risk of further cracking is now known to be very low, and any that may occur are very unlikely to prompt rapid crack growth due to the now demonstrably stable condition of the bridge structure.”
“The application of a permanent solution remains a priority. Without a funded plan for repair, the limited current use must cease eventually. It is not acceptable in managing safety risk to rely upon interim measures indefinitely.”
The councils had been exploring the option of a passenger ferry service, including plans for piers on either side of the Thames.bThe long-term future of the bridge, and who should pay for repairs or replacement, remains a controversial issue.
It has set the Conservative government against London’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan, who heads Transport for London (TfL), and the Labour-controlled Hammersmith Council, which owns the bridge.
Last month, the government announced it would pay no more than a third of the cost of fully repairing Hammersmith Bridge, which is expected to exceed £100m.
Transfer from London Heathrow Airport to Hammersmith Bridge:
Mercedes Benz S class Price £112
Travel time 39 minutes
Distance 22.7 miles
Hammersmith Bridge Address: Hammersmith Bridge W6 , United Kingdom
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