Friday, August 14, 2020

Hammersmith Bridge closes the Thames

 Back in 2019, Hammersmith Bridge was closed to traffic due to cracks being found in its cast iron casing, but pedestrians and bikes could still use it. Indeed, during lock-down it was nice to take the daily exercise as a loop crossing the Thames over this bridge:

But this week the bridge has been closed even to pedestrians and cyclists. 

And its not just traffic crossing the bridge, the PLA has closed the river to all vessels at Hammersmith Bridge!

The problem is the recent heatwave we've had in London has made cracks in the bridge worse and there's a real concern about it's integrity. In other words, it might fall down:

Hammersmith Bridge is falling down,

Falling down, falling down.

Hammersmith Bridge is falling down,

My fair lady

Oh dear!

I hope they quickly manage to stabilise the cracks as this is a lovely bridge, and we can't have an Oxford - Cambridge boat race without the ability for boats to go underneath:

The other problem is that London needs its bridges to connect north and south London and a lot of local communities are finding this a real issue.

The difficulty is it has been estimated to cost £120 million to fix - and that was before the cracks got bigger. And of course the economy has sort of tanked recently.

2020 eh?

Update 1: British Rowing is very concerned about this

Update 2: FAQ from the PLA here


Greg Wesson said...

Some excitement this morning as an older couple piloting a canal boat ignored the signs on the barges set up on the approach, and then the blast of the horn, to putter on through under the bridge. Otherwise haven't seen any traffic pass under. Lots of rowers coming up, turning round and heading back both up and down river.

JP said...

Interesting - I wonder what powers they have to stop vessels continuing to go under?

It's not like they had no choice - they could have done the loop round the regents canal to Brentford.

I also heard that a jogger was spotted breaking the ban and crossing the bridge:

JP said...

In other local news, a boa constrictor was found "in the undergrowth near Barnes Bridge"