The Department for Transport will fund one-third of the costs to carry out vital stabilisation work on Hammersmith Bridge, ministers have announced as they unveiled a multi-million pound funding package.
Engineering firm Mott MacDonald will carry out the works, which will involve the use of elastomeric bearings, allowing any pressure to be applied equally to all four corners while protecting the vulnerable cast-iron structure.
The release of £2.93m by the DfT comes after ministers approved the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham’s business case. It takes the total government funding for the bridge’s restoration to nearly £7m.
The cash means the structure can remain permanently open to pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic before further strengthening works could open it up to motorists.
The bridge was shut to all users and even river traffic beneath it in 2019 following the discovery of cracks in its pedestals. It was then reopened to cyclists, pedestrians and river traffic in July 2021.
Previous government funding of £4m went towards immediate mitigation works to the structure, which involved blast cleaning and inspections to its pedestals, helping ensure there were no long-term risks to its reopening.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: 'I’m giving Londoners reassurance this government will do everything in its power to keep this vital, historic structure open.
'We’re investing millions into its restoration, ensuring local residents can continue to cross the river by foot or bike and I look forward to working further with the local council on future works to reopen the bridge to motorists.'
Roads minister Baroness Vere said: 'Following an enormous amount of work by engineers, government, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and TfL, I can confirm we will be injecting millions of pounds into its restoration, so it stays open to pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic.
'We will not lose momentum. Work is already underway to ensure the structure is reopened to motorists as soon as possible and returned to its former glory.'
Pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic will still be able to use the bridge throughout the duration of these works with stabilisation expected to take less than a year to complete.