THE CRUMBLING Hammersmith Flyover will be patched up again this autumn, despite popular plans to replace it with a tunnel.
Construction and civil engineering firm Costain has been tasked with the £60million repair job, a year after the five-month closure of the flyover for emergency repairs caused huge disruption across west London.
And last month, Hammersmith and Fulham Council backed an expensive 'flyunder' tunnel as an alternative route into London from the west, but it could cost anything from £250million to complete.
Council leader Nicholas Botterill said: “We know that vital repairs are necessary to the flyover but this needs to be the last time TfL spends a huge amount of taxpayers’ money on maintaining this monstrosity. Any other cash set aside for future work to the flyover needs instead to be pumped into making the flyunder a reality.
“A new tunnel solution would dramatically improve the quality of life for thousands of west Londoners and link the riverfront with Hammersmith town centre for the first time since the 60s.”
The closure last year was to allow the repair of five arches, after it was found that salt water had weakened the cables supporting the arches.
The remaining 11 will be fixed beginning in October, when the company reinforces the concrete with strong steel strands, replaces bearings, waterproofs and resurfaces the road, as well as replacing the drainage.
Garrett Emmerson, chief operating officer for surface transport at TfL, said: “We understand that Hammersmith and Fulham Council is keen to look at proposals to replace the Hammersmith flyover in more detail.
“We have discussed this with the borough recently and offered support to them in putting their case together for this project. Any plan to replace the flyover would need to be fully assessed, justified and funded through the wider redevelopment of the area.”
Andrew Wyllie, chief executive of Costain, added: “The flyover is a technically challenging structure and an important part of London’s infrastructure.”
TfL has confirmed construction work on Hammersmith Flyover will begin in October, with overnight lane closures and no weight restrictions. It is still in discussions with Costain about how long it will take to finish but is keen to ensure that disruption is minimised at all times.