A Cheaper Better Plan for Hammersmith Bridge – Where Everyone Wins

Repairing the bridge in place is prohibitively expensive.

Demolition ruled out. It is Grade II listed

Nw Civil Engineer

Richmond council Leader Gareth Roberts said that demolition was not “within the realms of possibility”.

He added: “If we tried to demolish it, we would be mired in legal challenges from the Victorian Society and heritage groups. We’d have Griff Rhys Jones (President of the Victorian Society) down here protesting. We have to do what is both possible and realistic”.

However it is possible to remove each link and repair it chain by chain

An alternative proposal, backed by London-based marine engineers BeckettRankine on Twitter, would be to deploy a similar strategy to that used on the restoration of the Union Chain Bridge which spans England and Scotland.

During a meeting with residents in October, both Richmond and Hammersmith & Fulham council representatives said they were fully committed to restoring the existing bridge adding that replacing the bridge was “not viable”.

Richmond council Leader Gareth Roberts said that demolition was not “within the realms of possibility”.

He added: “If we tried to demolish it, we would be mired in legal challenges from the Victorian Society and heritage groups. We’d have Griff Rhys Jones (President of the Victorian Society) down here protesting. We have to do what is both possible and realistic”.

An alternative proposal, backed by London-based marine engineers BeckettRankine on Twitter, would be to deploy a similar strategy to that used on the restoration of the Union Chain Bridge which spans England and Scotland.

Appointed by Northumberland County Council, Spencer Group is dismantling the Union Chain Bridge and carrying out a complete refurbishment and rebuild.

The bridge, which links England and Scotland, has a single span of 137m. Crossing the River Tweed from Horncliffe in Northumberland to Fishwick in Berwickshire, it was the longest wrought iron suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1820.

Using a bespoke overhead cable crane and access platform, 700m2 of timber bridge decking has now been removed to be refurbished offsite. The crane and access platform allowed the team to avoid working from beneath the bridge on the River Tweed, averting the risk of delay due to recent high tides.

Dismantling , repair and reconstruction of this bridge will only cost 10 million.

My proposal is simple, remove and repair each link but move it reinstating it as a narrower pedestrian and cycle only bridge connecting Craven Cottage and the Barn Elms wetlands, with a modern treated timber base and concrete new piers and columns in the form of the old bridge. Then launch an international architectural competition for a new bridge at the old location. We know from replacement of old bridges swept away in the Cumbria Floods that new bridges can be more attractive than old ones in exceptional circumstances such as these. Surely this would enhance net heritage assets by creating a new one – compatible with the ‘internal balence test’ established in recent caselaw

Lets do the math, Repair in situ of Hammersmith Bridge will cost 100 million. Lets say dismantling/repair of Hammersmith Bridge will cost twice that of Union Chain Bridge, say 20 million. New Piers at Barn Elms say 15 million, cost of a new Bridge across the Thames. The Millennium Bridge cost 18 million, double it. 36 million. Total cost 71 million saving 29 million and getting two bridges for price of one. In a funding deal

a) Heritage Lottery fun funds repair of chains

b) Mayor of London funds erection of erection of Cycling Bridge at Barn Elms

c) Councils, TfL, DfT split costs four ways for new Hammersmith Bridge – 9 million each, funded over 30 years with a public services loan board loan.

Everybody wins.

Pooley Bridge Cumbria

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