Chiswick Bridge In Need Of Major Works

Survey by TfL reveals cracks in seven bridges including Chiswick


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Chiswick Bridge needs a substantial works programme to rectify erosion and cracks. The works will be carried out by Transport for London (TfL) later this year.

A survey has revealed serious erosion and cracking on seven bridges in the capital including Chiswick, which carries thousands of vehicles every day along the A316. Parts of the North Circular Road have also shown erosion.

Chiswick Bridge is a popular vantage point for watching the finish of the University Boat Race and the start and finish of a number of other events including the Head of the River races.

A programme of works costing over £200 million will have to be carried out on the bridges and other works which the company expects to finish in 2016.

A spokesman for TfL told that there was nothing currently unsafe about Chiswick Bridge whch is a Grade II listed structure.

He said it was all part of TfL's investment in the roads network to keep structures viable for the long term future.

At this point the company could not say what road closures would be in operation. However, he said the situation was not comparable to the Hammersmith flyover, which had to be closed suddenly in December 2011 when engineers spotted structural defects which needed urgent repairs.

The Hammersmith closure caused traffic chaos which extended into Chiswick for several weeks.

"The work on Chiswick Bridge will be planned well in advance, so we will be trying to cause very little disruption," he said.

Chiswick bridge, which crosses the River Thames, was designed by Sir Herbert Baker and Alfred Dryland and when it opened in 1933 its 150 foot ( 46 metre) central span was the longest concrete span over the Thames.

The Deck Arch Bridge, which is made from reinforced concrete and Portland stone is 606 feet in length and 70 feet in width. It was constructed on the site of a former ferry by the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Company and was one of three bridges opened in 1933 as part of an ambitious scheme to relieve traffic congestion west of London.

The bridge carries traffic on the A316 between Chiswick on the north bank of the Thames and Mortlake on the south bank. In 2004 it was estaimted to carry nearly 40,000 vehicles a day but that figure has substantially increased.

More than £3bn is now being spent on roads over 10 years, which is subject to government agreement on funding. A total of £200m will be spent on seven structures by 2016 and £70m of that will go on the Hammersmith flyover alone.

April 17, 2013