HAMMERSMITH is bracing itself for traffic chaos after the A4 Flyover was closed until January a week after a whistle-blower told the Chronicle it was unsafe.
Transport for London (TfL) has been carrying out temporary repair work in the 50-year-old four-lane stretch since October.
A source close to the project told the Chronicle last week that the flyover, which links Talgarth Road and Great West Road, was not safe and 'could collapse at any point'.
They said: “The severe level of deterioration isn't just bad, it's the worst kind of bad. The post tensioned strands are severely corroded and in some cases completely severed.
“It is not a question of whether the structure will collapse, it is a matter of when.”
TfL insisted the flyover was safe when presented with that startling prediction by the Chronicle but dramatically decided to close the busy road two days before Christmas on Friday.
It said an inspection on Thursday (22/12) 'identified further technical problems' and apologised for the sudden closure.
Garrett Emmerson, TfL chief operating officer surface transport, said: “Safety is our top priority so we've taken the decision to keep the flyover closed until at least early January while we undertake a full detailed assessment of the structure.
“We are very sorry for the disruption this will cause drivers and we are doing everything we can to minimise traffic disruption.
“We will be working around the clock over the Christmas and New Year period to complete our assessment and to set out plans for the work that needs to take place.
“In the meantime, drivers are strongly advised to avoid the area if they can allow more time for their journeys.”
Traffic diversions are being put in place and TfL is considering whether to suspend other roadworks in the area.
Read our previous story here: http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/fulham-and-hammersmith-news/local-fulham-and-hammersmith-news/2011/12/14/hammersmith-flyover-unsafe-claims-tfl-whistleblower-82029-29952474/