Hammersmith Bridge closures

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Hammersmith Bridge closures

Wednesday January 22, 2014

Hammersmith Bridge will be closed this weekend (January 25-26), for the first of a series of weekend road closures over the next month.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council began urgent repair works to the bridge last week (Monday January 13) and has plans to fully close the bridge in both directions for the weekends of February 8-9, 15-16, and 22-23. These are from 8am on Saturday to 5am on Monday. There will no longer be a closure on February 1-2.

The work also means that the bridge continues to be partially closed on weekdays until February 28. The southbound lane over the bridge (A306) is closed between 7am and 3pm every Monday to Friday to allow essential repairs to the 126-year-old bridge’s wooden decking panels.

The work must be done to make sure that the road is safe for motorists and cyclists. After years of wear and tear, the current timber panels on the bridge need to be repaired or replaced, and then resurfaced. The worn wooden decking means that steel panels on the road, which provide an anti-skid surface, are failing to work properly.

There are also several pot holes in the road which have been patched up temporarily and this work will allow the defects to be properly and permanently repaired.

Cllr Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler, Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s cabinet member for transport and technical services, said: “These works are simply unavoidable and must be done now, to make sure the road surface holds up for the next decade. Of course, if there was any way we could keep the road open then we would.

“We are doing everything we can to keep disruption to residents to a minimum and we apologise for any temporary disruption this may cause.”

To minimise disruption and avoid clashing with Transport for London’s night-time closures of Hammersmith Flyover, the works have been planned for when southbound traffic flow is low and traffic heading north is at its peak.

However, access is being maintained in both directions over the bridge for emergency vehicles and pedestrians, while the 72, 209 and 609 buses are still running via the bridge during the week. Cyclists have to dismount and walk their bikes across the bridge. There is access for local residents living near the bridge, on either side of the river (for example, those living in Rutland Grove and surrounding streets).

The diversions are via Fulham Palace Road and Putney Bridge for southbound traffic and, during the weekend closures, northbound traffic will be diverted to Chiswick Bridge. Advance warning and diversion signs are up on both sides of the river.

For more information on the works, contact Anvar Alizadeh or Michael Masella on 020 8753 3033 or 020 8753 3082. Alternatively the highways duty officer is available outside of office hours on 020 8748 8588.

» Send us your comments now

On Saturday 15 February, I walked across the bridge from Barnes to Hammersmith at 08h30 because it was closed. There was NO sign of a truck, a workman or any other activity to justify the bridge being closed. I walked back across this bridge at 18h30 that same day - It appears that NOTHING had been done … was the bridge worked on at all that day?
From Victoria Macdonald on 01/03/2014 at 13:20
Is the bridge open north bound or not?
From Chris on 28/02/2014 at 13:26
I think it is ridiculous that there are no clear signs on the approach saying that the bridge is closed until you arrive at the bridge. As it is sometimes open I have to take this gamble everyday as other routes as very slow for me. Surely on days they are working on the bridge large signs could be displayed at several intervals to save us time on the already lengthy detours? I'm sure the cost of this would be covered by the fines incurred by the slow moving traffic in the yellow boxes under the flyover as many seem to have fallen victim to this of late.
From Tom M on 22/02/2014 at 14:04
This weekend should be a true joy with the one-way works in place at the top of Mortlake High Street. This will block the alternative route to Chiswick Bridge nicely.
From Jeff on 21/02/2014 at 19:14
I am very supportive of doing necessary work to keep our beautiful bridge in good repair. We all want it to last a very long time and be safe. However when we walked across at 3:30pm yesterday there was not one person working or even around. Only one person sitting in a truck. Why is there not a crew of people working shifts to get this done asap? It is a disgrace with the way it is being managed showing little consideration for the disruption and systemic road issues it is causing. Last Sunday we were conpletely grid locked in Barnes and had to abandon our journey and return home effectively trapped.
From Margaret on 16/02/2014 at 01:15
I really do not believe the council is close to the work at all. You have a small handful of men working shop hours, I assume to save money? Most developed countries would have had team on this 24/7 and been done in a week.
From James in Barnes on 15/02/2014 at 17:42
Walked over the bridge today at noon and again at 4pm.
No sign of any workmen on both occasions. What is the point of the bridge closure? Outrageously disrupting our lives unnecessarily.
From John on 15/02/2014 at 16:30
Walked over the bridge at noon and again at 4pm.
No sign of any workmen on both occasions. What is the point of the bridge closure?
From John on 15/02/2014 at 16:24
Motorcycles have not generally been permitted to use bus lanes. We have introduced pilot schemes allowing motor cycles to use the bus lanes on two roads in the borough, Uxbridge Road and Fulham Palace Road. We need to study the results of these pilots carefully before deciding whether or not to allow motorcycles to use other bus lanes in the borough. We particularly have to examine the effects on road safety for all users, including bus passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and vehicle drivers, as well as journey times and convenience for all users.

We also have to take into account experience elsewhere. Some boroughs (and Transport for London on their "Red Route" network) allow motorcycles in bus lanes, others do not. The London Borough of Ealing has terminated its experiment in allowing motorcycles in bus lanes following an increase in collisions.
From H&F Council on 13/02/2014 at 17:10
@Richard - Our work is weather dependent and we have been hampered by the recent terrible weather. There are times when we simply cannot work fully on the bridge because of the weather so, when this happens, rather than keep the bridge closed we will open it in a bid to keep traffic flowing. Unfortunately things like this cannot be foreseen and these decisions are made at the time, after weighing up all our options, and cannot be planned in advance. We will however continue to endeavour to work all through the weekend during hours that the bridge is closed.
From H&F Council on 13/02/2014 at 17:05
@Tim @LB - We are very sorry for delays motorists and commuters might experience as a result of the bridge closures. We are doing all we can to ease the disruption but the repair work is incredibly technical and time-consuming, especially as we need to gain access from underneath the bridge. This means the work has to be coordinated with river traffic, the tide and the gantry operation. The materials we use are weather dependent and require long curing times. This means the work has to be carried out in phases and that limits the areas of the bridge we can repair at one time, so we already have the maximum number of workers on the bridge at any one time.

@Barnes - yes we are looking at options to bring a 'flyunder' to the borough. Read the latest news on this here: http://bit.ly/1ooylF7

@Donna - Thanks for letting us know about this. We have spoken to the contractor about this and asked them to review this and take appropriate action.
From H&F Council on 13/02/2014 at 16:55
I've just read your response in the comments saying that teams are working through the night at weekends. NOT TRUE. Last Saturday there was no work after about 4.30 p.m. until, though the bridge remained fully closed throughout the night. If you are paying for round the clock work you need to have a word with the contractors. Shambles.
From Tim on 13/02/2014 at 15:56
I phoned all three numbers above last weekend to ask why the bridge was closed when nothing appeared to be happening.

The "emergency" number gave me several warnings, seemingly designed to weed out all but actual emergencies, even though a major bridge is closed with no one on site - told me to call TfL on 0343 222 1234, which he assured me was a 24-hour line.

I then called TfL and chose transport information (option 1). The system hung up on me and told me to visit the website. Then I chose option 2. The phone rang out for 10 minutes and I hung up.

So, there appears to be no way of contacting anyone at the weekend about the closure of a major bridge. Surely you could at the very least update your Twitter account that the bridge had been opened on Sunday?

On a daily basis I cross the bridge in rush hour and there are around 10 men in discussions. Literally every other day there are one or two men doing physical work. This is what thousands of commuters are seeing as reward for the delay on a daily basis. Notwithstanding the weather I'm sorry, but this is a major artery into London and this is "urgency"?

Would Germany or Japan tolerate this?
From Jamesnorthbarnes on 13/02/2014 at 10:15
@Jeff - Our work has been authorised and planned in advance with TfL but work on Chiswick Bridge a few weekends ago was completely unauthorised and had not been planned. We were not informed that any work would be taking place at the same time. TfL has arranged for inspectors to keep an eye on the bridge to prevent a recurrence and TfL can be contacted by email on enquire@tfl.gov.uk or the customer service number 0343 222 1234.

RE: Working hours
We are working as quickly as possible to carry out this work with gangs working in shifts, including through the night on weekends. However, each single panel takes several hours to remove, repair and replace, so it is unfortunately incredibly time-consuming. The materials we use, such as resin, need time to settle and cure and this takes longer in winter months with colder temperatures than in the summer, for example. You may notice that at times there are no workers on site but that will usually be because the materials are 'bedding in' and the road is not yet ready to take vehicles. It does not necessarily mean nothing is happening or that repairs are not taking place.
From H&F Council on 10/02/2014 at 16:40
Thank you for your comments. They are being passed to the highways team working on the bridge and we will continue to respond to you here. If you would like more information on the works or have a specific question, contact Anvar Alizadeh or Michael Masella on 020 8753 3033 or 020 8753 3082. Alternatively the highways duty officer is available outside of office hours on 020 8748 8588.

@ Williamstanley - this work has been widely publicised since December through local newspapers, websites, the Metro newspaper, on travel news feeds (including BBC Travel), TfL's website and Twitter feed, social media, on the council website and on advanced warning signs and message boards on roads approaching the bridge, which have been up since January 9th.
From H&F Council on 10/02/2014 at 16:25
We are all sending you our comments but what is actually being done about them? The main issue seems to be the lack of workmen actually working, my husband cycled across the bridge this morning at 10.15 number of men working - 2.
From LB on 10/02/2014 at 13:06
So this morning there were 2 men working when I crossed on foot at 10.15. I suppose that's in improvement on last week's zero, but still ridiculous given the disruption caused. Surely the work could have been completed by now if you had resourced and managed it adequately? And with it being closed overnight on Saturday night I was surprised to find that all work had stopped before 5pm.
From Tim on 10/02/2014 at 11:19
Will H&F consider extending the number of bus lanes which allow motorcycles, such as the stretch along Fulham Palace Road?

With the Hammersmith Bridge closure and long term overpass work, the congestion and aggrevated queueing heading east from Hammersmith have worsened quite considerably. Motorcylists are very vulnerable in such driving conditions, and have to sit stationary with a high exposure to exhaust fumes.

If it has helped relieve some congestion, as well as providing additional protection to motorcycle drivers whilst not impacting the bus lane for use by public transport, isn't this the time to consider extending this policy across the borough?
From abegg on 10/02/2014 at 10:59
It is absolutely appalling how few workmen are actually working during the week.. And it's very annoying that the bridge actually opens on Sunday afternoon when the information on line provides absolutely no indication of that. So I have spent inordinate amounts of time going around this afternoon when there was no need to! There should be an email list to which you can subscribe, where the information is provided whether it is open or closed.
From Richard on 09/02/2014 at 17:33
You have closed the bridge for 4 weekends and there are disruptive lights at all other times for 4 weeks, buses have been redirected and the number of people working on a small patch of the road at a time? 8 in daytime hours only. Seemingly all replacing the road surface that failed miserably in the last disruptive work carried out at the most 18 mths ago. Absolutely appalling planning and execution. Explanation to those disrupted please.
From LB on 09/02/2014 at 09:55
can someone please look into the closure of the bridge at 7am it is an absolute shambles and free for all.it took me 25 minutes to get over this morning due to the transfer of lanes on the bridge and non closure of the road coming from Hammersmith.
From donna on 05/02/2014 at 08:51
Isn't it time for a Tunnel:
A3 to Hammersmith, Shepherd's Bush,
Hogarth/Chiswick roundabout, plus large car parks for the tube stations and also under Barnes Common with an outlet to the railway?
Sydney,Australia has loads of them and we even managed one under the channel. How about it folks, much better than a High Speed Rail that no one wants.
From Barnes on 31/01/2014 at 03:15
When I crossed the bridge this morning at about 10.30 a.m. not one workman was actually doing any work on the bridge surface. Also, it appears that the work that is being done simply involves patching up the road surface with the same panels that have been applied several times over the last few years. These panels have decayed rapidly. Can you reassure us that this work is going to prove a more permanent solution so we don't have to put up with this disruption again in 6 months?
From Tim on 30/01/2014 at 12:43
According to your matrix signs Hammersmith Bridge is closed from January 13th to February 28th period! I use the bridge Monday to Friday at about 740AM Northbound and 540PM Southbound. According to this article I have just read I needn't have wasted my time morning and evening diverting myself via Chiswick Bridge, queuing longer and wasting fuel during these times. Is it H&F's policy to waste the time of commuters who are unfortunate enough to work in your area? I thank you in advance for your comments. Paul
From Paul on 30/01/2014 at 11:33
The bridge was open at 7pm Sunday 26th. This was good news but it doesn't lead to confidence in your infomration. You state clearly the bridge will be closed till 5 am on Monday. PLEASE keep this information up to date.
From Katherine on 27/01/2014 at 18:13
I hope the opening next weekend is to avoid the disaster this weekend when the lane of the Chiswick Bridge was also closed leading to huge traffic in Barnes. Also, couldn't this work be done at night? Or more work teams at once so it goes faster?
From Jeff on 27/01/2014 at 10:47
I understand the work has to done - your COMMUNICATION is really not up to standard. With such a high profile artery in to west London this should have been publicised every where! A very frustrated Putney resident!
From Williamstanley on 25/01/2014 at 15:35

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