An “amber alert” has been placed on Hammersmith Bridge this week as it is feared that the warm weather could lead it to collapse into the River Thames.
Increased risk of Hammersmith bridge collapsing: The deteriorating 133-year-old bridge has had thermometers placed on it’s structure and it’s suspension chains are being cooled by jets of water as engineers warned that if the chains reach 22.5C a “red alert” will be placed on it.
As we reported last month, the bridge has been closed to traffic since April and, last month, it was also closed to pedestrians and cyclists as micro fractures widened in the feet that hold the suspension system together. A letter from Hammersmith and Fulham council to Transport Minister Baroness Vere detailed the state of the bridge and the concerns that it could be lost forever.
On Wednesday this week a meeting will take place of a task force to discuss plans to move forward with repairs and get the bridge re-opened. Council leader for Hammersmith and Fulham Council, Mr Cowan, said that both they and Richmond Council would like a temporary solution to the problems as soon as possible.
Solutions to the problem could be to instate a ferry crossing although this would mean building pontoons and piers and the high and low tides would be a problem. Also in consideration is a temporary bridge for the use of cyclists and pedestrians only, however this would be at a cost of £27.3 million and take up to 9 months to build.
It emerged yesterday that the total cost of repair to the bridge to allow buses and cars to start crossing again could be £163 million. Stabilisation of it to just allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross would cost £46 million.
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