Hammersmith Bridge to reopen for pedestrians and cyclists
West London’s Hammersmith Bridge is due to partially reopen on Saturday after passing security checks.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council have said pedestrians and cyclists will be allowed to use the 134-year-old cast iron structure.
Ships on the Thames will also be allowed to pass below.
Cracks in the pedestals have resulted in a ban on the use of the bridge to motor vehicles since April 2019.
The crossing deteriorated further during a heat wave, which led to its closure to all users in August 2020.
This has increased travel times and traffic jams as people take alternative routes across the Thames.
The ban on river traffic has also been a key factor in the University Boat Race’s annual move to Ely, Cambridgeshire.
The council installed a £ 420,000 temperature control system to help prevent cracks in the pedestals.
Acoustic sensors were also installed to identify other cracks.
The board of directors of the case for the maintenance of the safe operation of the bridge (CCSO), which advises the council, said that these measures combined with technical inspections mean that the safety risk of allowing pedestrians and cyclists to use the crossing is “acceptably low”.
He continued: “These provisions are temporary measures and do not replace permanent redress.
“Applying a permanent solution remains a priority.
“Without a funded repair plan, limited current use must eventually cease.
“It is not acceptable in the management of security risks to rely on interim measures indefinitely. “
The Department for Transport said last month that the government would contribute no more than a third of the bridge repair costs, which are estimated at more than £ 100million.
Council Chief Stephen Cowan said: “I am very happy to confirm that the last piece of advice from safety engineers is that we can safely reopen the Hammersmith Bridge.
“We asked the team to do it.
“It will open this weekend.
“I know how difficult the past 11 months have been for people, especially children who have to cross the river to get to school and those who have to go to medical appointments or to work. . “