London Bridges Falling Down

Funding Critical for Iconic Infrastructure Repair

 

theEdge

img
img

TOP PHOTO COURTESY OF HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM COUNCIL. BOTTOM PHOTO BY BIM / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Hammersmith Bridge and London Bridge, below

A decade of economic austerity is taking its toll on London’s public bridges. Last year, numerous closings drew ire and concern from frustrated residents. Hammersmith Bridge, Vauxhall Bridge, London Bridge and Tower Bridge were all shut down, with reasons ranging from mechanical glitches to urgently needed repairs to structural corrosion.

London Bridge’s £5 million repair project was completed in September, a month earlier than expected. But finding project funding remains much more elusive for other projects. Fully repairing the 19th-century Hammersmith Bridge, which was closed to vehicles in April 2019 and pedestrians in August 2020, would cost an estimated £141 million. Stabilizing the bridge enough for pedestrians would cost £46 million, and building a temporary bridge might tally £27 million. But both the bridge owner (Hammersmith & Fulham Council) and the local transportation authority lack the resources to green-light full repairs.

The bridge owners wrote an open-letter appeal to Prime Minister Boris Johnson for project funding. But “promising to build shiny things for the future is more attractive than fixing road surfaces or mending bridges,” Tony Travers, professor, department of government, London School of Economics, told The New York Times. During his election, the prime minister promised to fund projects like a US$130 billion high-speed railway.

Still, momentum may be on the horizon. In September, the government launched a task force headed by Dana Skelley, a former Transport for London official who led London’s £4 billion road-modernization plan ahead of the London Olympics, to develop a repair plan for Hammersmith Bridge.

The Edge written by: Ambreen Ali, Amanda Hermans, Steve Hendershot, Jen Thomas and Amy Wilkinson

Advertisement

Advertisement

Related Content

  • PM Network

    Los puentes de Londres caerán member content open

    Una década de austeridad económica está pasando la cuenta a los puentes públicos de Londres. El año pasado, numerosos cierres concitaron la ira y la preocupación de los frustrados residentes.

  • PM Network

    As pontes de Londres estão caindo member content open

    Uma década de austeridade econômica está cobrando o preço das pontes públicas de Londres. No ano passado, vários fechamentos despertaram a ira e a preocupação de moradores frustrados. A Ponte de…

  • PM Network

    Chain Demand member content open

    Manufacturing, retail and logistics executives are clamoring for more real-time, end-to-end transparency of their supply chains. That desire is driving demand for digital supply chain investments,…

  • Project Management Journal

    Cash Flow Management of Construction Projects in Saudi Arabia member content locked

    By Shash, Ali A. | Al Qarra, Abdulaziz This article reveals techniques and practices that construction companies follow to forecast and manage cash flow at the project level.

  • Project Management Journal

    How far can BIM reduce information asymmetry in the Australian construction context? member content locked

    By Forsythe, Perry | Sankaran, Shankar | Biesenthal, Christopher Building Information Modeling (BIM) systems are increasingly used in construction projects. Theoretically, these systems provide greater transparency and access to construction project information…

Advertisement