Hammersmith Bridge repair bill would soar to £163M under ‘quicker’ option

From New Civil Engineer:

The cost of repairing Hammersmith Bridge could rise to £163M if the government opts for the “quicker” restoration option. Hammersmith & Fulham Council leader Stephen Cowan revealed that a quicker, more expensive repair plan had been drawn up, in a letter to his constituents.

The current repair plan would see costs reaching up to £141M, with £46M needed to stabilise the bridge enough to reopen it to pedestrians and cyclists. Work is estimated to take three years to complete under this plan.

However, Cowan revealed that a quicker restoration plan costing an additional £22M is also on the table. He did not confirm how long repairs would take under this option.

Read the full article on the New Civil Engineer website

Anyone familiar with the costs and timescales of public engineering projects will probably look at this and shrug their shoulders. Like me, they will have assumed that the cost of the original plan will, in all likelihood, soar way above the original £141m estimate anyway.

But thet's not really a problem. If all goes well, the bridge will be restored for walking and cycling, and then the money will run out.

Of course, that's no comfort for those hoping to see buses, or some kind of public transport, crossing the bridge again. Unfortunately, the only option being offered under "full restoration" seems to be "buses plus cars" - presumably in an effort to please the general population. But most people used to cross by bus (according to an LBRuT survey), and they are held up by the selfish minority who cross by car - so it makes sense to keep cars off the bridge, even if it is eventually "fully restored".

Posted on 23rd September 2020

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