Hammersmith Bridge seen from Hammersmith under a blue sky

New temporary bridge for cyclists and pedestrians across Thames

news Transport and roads

The temporary bridge would allow us to continue to work as quickly and safely as possible to restore Hammersmith Bridge

A new temporary bridge could be built across the Thames for pedestrians and cyclists.

The temporary bridge would allow work to continue as quickly and safely as possible to restore our iconic 133-year-old Hammersmith Bridge. Those restoration works are now well underway. You can track the progress of these works by visiting our Hammersmith Bridge page.

Local residents will not be paying for the bridge’s restoration or associated costs. If the temporary pedestrian and cycle bridge is approved, TfL will pay for its construction.

A temporary bridge for motor vehicles is thoroughly unworkable. It would take years to acquire the privately-owned land, cost huge amounts in legal fees, and cost tens of millions of pounds and take years to complete.

Artist's impression from above showing the temporary bridge spanning the river Thames
Artist's impression of the proposed temporary bridge

The proposed temporary bridge is a seven-metre-wide, prefabricated steel structure, supported by two piers in the river. The bridge would be step-free and have a 5.5-metre-wide carriageway for pedestrians and cyclists. It would be accessed by shallow ramps from Queen Caroline Street on the north bank and from close to the junction of Castelnau and Riverview Gardens on the south bank.

Temporary walking and cycling bridge exhibition information boards (pdf 3.3MB)

Two sections of the proposed temporary bridge showing detail of the structural elements
Section drawings of the proposed bridge

Potential disaster avoided

We will never take risks with people’s safety. So, in 2015, we commissioned a Comprehensive Structural Integrity Review of Hammersmith Bridge to review the cast and wrought iron suspension structures and mechanisms. Prior to that, no such review had ever taken place.

That review revealed how many important mechanisms had seized up long ago. We found decades of unchecked corrosion riddled throughout the suspension structure and last year, using the latest technology, we found micro-fractures in the cast iron pedestals holding the suspension structure in place. We closed Hammersmith Bridge to motor vehicles to avert a potential catastrophe.

Fully restoring Hammersmith Bridge

We’re still finding more problems as we peel back different parts of this unique 19th-Century structure. But we’ve hired world-leading engineers, who’ve worked on the Golden Gate Bridge in California and oil rigs in the North Sea. They are working quickly to fully restore it.

The complex nature of this project may mean TfL and the council could need to close the bridge occasionally and at short notice. Anyone who regularly crosses the bridge by foot or cycle will need to consider alternative routes.

Any questions?

All the work will be filmed. Videos will be posted on our Hammersmith Bridge page so we will be able to see how the detailed restoration work is progressing, especially inside the bridge’s moving parts.

In the meantime, TfL has extended its Dial-a-Ride scheme to help residents with mobility needs who live near Hammersmith Bridge. For more details, read our Dial-a-Ride news story.

If you have any questions about the repair works, please call TfL on 0343 222 1234. (Charges apply - calls from landlines are typically charged between 2p and 10p per minute and calls from mobiles typically cost between 10p and 40p per minute. Connection charges may apply.)

Computer generated image showing the temporary bridge spanning the river Thames illustrating the access points on both banks
Computer generated image of the proposed temporary bridge
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