Essential repairs to Wandsworth Bridge which are needed to safeguard the long-term future of this vital river crossing mean it will close to vehicle traffic on Monday, 24 July 2023 for approximately ten weeks.
Checks on the 83-year-old bridge have revealed that some of its weight-bearing parts need to be replaced. If these critical repairs are not completed, it could result in longer-term closures and other restrictions.
Council Leader Simon Hogg said: “These works are essential to protect the bridge, ensure it remains safe to use and keep it open in the long-term. Our primary objective is to get this necessary job done as efficiently and quickly as possible so there is the least amount of disruption possible to residents.”
The repairs will take approximately 10 weeks and be carried out mainly during the school summer holidays when traffic levels are at their lightest. Pedestrians will still be able to cross, as will cyclists, although they will need to dismount.
There will be temporary changes to bus services that normally cross the bridge once the closure is in place. These details will be publicised when confirmed by Transport for London and the bus operators.
Motorists will be directed to other river crossings, while some are likely to switch to public transport. People who make only short journeys north and south of the river can take advantage of the Santander Cycle Hire Scheme and other bike rental schemes.
The timing of the repairs has been drawn up following discussions with Transport for London, neighbouring Hammersmith and Fulham Council and other partners to ensure good co-ordination with other major roadworks in south and west London.
The vehicle closure will follow an initial phase of works scheduled to begin on Monday, 15 May 2023 when the northbound cycle lane and southbound bus lane will both be closed. Buses, vehicles and bicycles will still be able to cross the river in both directions from that date until the main phase of works begins in July.
Councillor Hogg added: “Unfortunately a repair job on this scale to an important river crossing means some degree of disruption is unavoidable, and we are sorry for the inconvenience it will cause, but we have worked hard to keep this to the absolute minimum. We have also ensured the bridge will remain open to pedestrians and people who ride bicycles throughout the works.
“We are giving people as much advance warning as we can ahead of July’s closure so that they have plenty of time to plan alternative routes or look at using other forms of transport to get across the river.”
The council is sending out advance warning letters to around 24,000 households on both sides of the river. Warning signs will be placed on lamposts on all approaches in Wandsworth and Hammersmith and Fulham, while digital warning signs will also be used to alert motorists throughout the area.
Information about the closure will also be provided to the public via the council’s social media channels and e-newsletters. Posters are also set to be placed on bus stops in the area to inform passengers about changes to their routes.
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