Hammersmith Bridge is open again

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  • The Guardian has done two stories (oddly enough, that Valentine's thing doesn't seem to have been covered in the Standard, or at least I can't find it on their web-site--perhaps it interferes a bit too much with the politics):

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021­/feb/14/hammersmith-bridge-illuminated-r­ed-in-valentines-message-to-government

    A more general piece on London bridges:

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/202­1/feb/14/london-bridges-are-falling-down­-how-politics-has-failed-the-capitals-cr­ossings

  • Simple solution;
    find two long, out of service roro ferries.
    A bit of work on either bank to build suitable jetties/linkspans.
    Wedge the roros between the jetties/linkspans.
    Vehicles drive through the two roros.

    Everyone's happy, a 'bridge' and a 'ferry'.

  • I’m not so sure - it’s got a financial backer, who has a background in venture capital (I think) and seems very keen. I think the risk is more that, in the absence of someone pushing the better route, this is let through because of the public clamour for something to happen

    https://twitter.com/jamiebwaller/status/­1359005717764726785?s=20

  • Well, who knows. Perhaps it's the only option to run it from there, but it will need planning permission, and there may well be material reasons against granting that. I'm afraid I don't know what planning issues may arise for a river crossing. I still think the plan with the temporary decks seems to be the best option by some distance.

  • Here's a new article. I'm glad to read that the temporary double-decker bridge plan is still under consideration, as I think it's the best idea.

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/h­ammersmith-bridge-cost-motorist-3-pounds­-double-decker-thames-crossing-b925098.h­tml

    Still, it's ridiculous that the Government refuses to fund the repairs.

  • They'll have to lower the road for the bottom deck. The height isn't there otherwise, esp for double deck buses.
    It had two problematic narrowing at the towers too.

  • I thought this looking at it the other week. A double decker just fits under now, how are they going to add another level. But I suppose as you say, they must be planning to add a lower deck

  • Can they lower the road?
    What about boats?

  • I realise the current bridge is historic but has anyone priced up removing it and building something that works?

  • They could put the old one over a lake in the US

  • A few things have happened Oliver
    https://www.cityam.com/uber-chosen-by-tf­l-to-run-hammersmith-bridge-ferry-servic­e/
    And the local MP wrote a good piece

    Bridge

    The original Hammersmith Bridge, opened in 1827.

    News last week that a contract had been awarded to run a ferry
    alongside Hammersmith Bridge from later this year was a step forward,
    but it felt like a leap back in time. The ferry will start to run
    from ‘the end of the summer’, operate between 6am and 10pm weekdays,
    take eight hundred passengers an hour, including cyclists, and use the
    hopper/oyster card system to collect fares. Further details are
    awaited of the works that need to be done to allow safe boarding and
    disembarking, and how much it will cost to set up and run. As the
    Standard observed, if you put eight ferry boats in a line we could
    walk across. A little black humour is allowable as on Saturday we
    enter the third year since the initial closure to motor traffic with
    no sign of substantive works to the Bridge itself. The first Bridge
    opened in 1827 because the ferry from Chiswick Mall was considered
    antiquated. What a farce that two centuries later so much time and
    effort is going into…a new ferry. I know there is a lot of sniping
    and political gameplaying on this issue to the despair of Bridge users
    across London and beyond, but it really is pretty clear now who is
    playing politics and where the buck stops. I am convinced, having
    followed every twist and turn over the past two years, that LBHF and
    TfL have sincerely tried to find, promote and fund a way of repairing
    the Bridge. And let’s face it, why wouldn’t they? What is in it for
    the Mayor or the council not to have the Bridge fully functioning.
    LBHF paid or committed almost £10 million and TfL £50 million before
    the Covid crash deprived it of its income stream. Over £20 million has
    actually been spent. You would think the government would share
    these objectives, and without Covid19 and the postponement of the
    election maybe they would have come up with the balance of the cost,
    say £100 million, last year. Yes, it is a lot of money, but billions
    are being spent on major engineering projects in the borough (HS2,
    Crossrail, the Thames Tunnel), hundreds of millions on road and bridge
    schemes around the country with far less local contribution than is
    demanded in Hammersmith, and Johnson endlessly tells us we can afford
    vanity projects like the estuary airport, the garden bridge or the
    England-Scotland-Ireland tunnels. Not a penny has been given by the
    government to repair the Bridge, and the Taskforce exists solely to
    delay the project, presumably (but with extraordinary contempt for all
    of us) because they think this somehow benefits the Conservative
    Party. Well, judging by my inbox, that ferry has sailed. But just as a
    reminder, here are three ways the government could have got the Bridge
    open to foot/cycle traffic as quickly as it is taking to get the ferry
    moving. This time last year TfL was ready to apply for planning
    permission for a temporary footbridge to provide access and allow
    works to the main Bridge to proceed unhindered (this incidentally was
    what happened when the first Bridge was taken down and the current one
    built in the 1880s). But to get consent from the river authorities,
    TfL had to show it had the funds to complete the whole project (so
    they could be sure it was a genuinely temporary solution) and the
    government would not underwrite these. After the full closure last
    August, it was estimated to cost £46m to stabilise the Bridge and
    allow it to reopen to foot/river traffic and for repair works to
    proceed over the next five years. No estimate puts the government
    share of costs below this figure and had they agreed to it then the
    Bridge could have been stabilised and reopened this summer. LBHF
    have worked with architects Foster and Co and engineers COWI to design
    a temporary bridge that sits inside the current towers. This is
    estimated to take a year to allow pedestrian use and only a few months
    more to permit motor traffic. The existing Bridge would then be
    disassembled and repaired offsite. Fosters presented to the Taskforce
    last autumn. They are still waiting to hear. A year ago, I and
    other affected MPs from Barnes, Putney and Chiswick debated the Bridge
    in the Commons. Next week we will be doing so again. We have little
    choice but to raise the issues with ministers in this way as they have
    refused to meet us. I hope we will not be calling the same debate next
    year. And I hope we will not still be catching the ferry to Barnes in
    10 years’ time.


    1 Attachment

    • HBridge.jpg
  • Cheers, David, will read that in a moment. (I now have.) I have to admit that I'm not really interested in the ferry, just what will happen to the bridge, although I'm of course aware that it's very important to people in the area that some means of crossing is provided in the interim. What I meant by 'nothing's happened' is what the MP says:

    A little black humour is allowable as on Saturday we enter the third year since the initial closure to motor traffic with no sign of substantive works to the Bridge itself.

    But, and blimey:

    Over £20 million has actually been spent.

    Also:

    Not a penny has been given by the government to repair the Bridge, and the Taskforce exists solely to delay the project, presumably (but with extraordinary contempt for all of us) because they think this somehow benefits the Conservative Party.

  • Fair point Oliver
    Nothing has happened apart from 29 million being spent (blimey!)

    The fact that walking / riding over the bridge was also stopped over this period is the worst outcome and seems to have no real justification

  • Over £20 million has actually been spent.

    Is there any detail about how that £20m has been spent. It seems an awful lot of money.

  • It should mostly be on engineering consultants. I think that spending tally probably dates back a good few years and hasn't just been spent in the last three years. The New Civil Engineer did an FOI request last year, and TfL's spending over the 13 years to 2020 was put at £16.7m:

    https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/­revealed-tfl-has-spent-16-7m-on-hammersm­ith-bridge-repair-plans-28-10-2020/

    LBHF may have spent the rest, so the figures may be for 2007-2020.

    Where do you get £29m from, David? He just said 'more than £20m'. Or just a typo?

  • £20m on consultancy is about 130 engineers working full time for a year. Seems overkill.

  • £20m on consultancy is about 130 engineers working full time for a year. Seems overkill.

    Didn't they spend a similar amount on a bridge that was cancelled? At least this one exists.

  • I doubt all that money was spent on engineers. On both cases.

  • Yeah, but by Hammersmith Bridge standards, this is a fireworks display of events spiralling out of control: Someone's written an article. :)

    Well, it does say that they're exploring re-opening the bridge to walking and cycling, so that's something, I guess.

  • Yeah they've been exploring that for months.
    (Bit like having 3 commissions investigating who paid for the initial invoice for Downing Dtreet refurbishment)

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Hammersmith Bridge is open again

Posted by Avatar for skydancer @skydancer

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