London’s Hammersmith Bridge is CLOSED indefinitely to vehicles

The ‘indefinite’ closure of London’s iconic Hammersmith Bridge has stretched into its second day as engineers swoop in to assess the damage.

Yesterday, the council were left with ‘no choice’ but to close the west London river crossing after ‘critical faults’ were found in the structure which they admitted was not designed to bear the load of modern weighty vehicles. 

And the burden to the Grade II-listed bridge was laid bare today as photographs reveal a crumbling framework. 

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Yesterday, the council were left with 'no choice' but to close the west London river crossing after 'critical faults' were found in the structure

Yesterday, the council were left with 'no choice' but to close the west London river crossing after 'critical faults' were found in the structure

Yesterday, the council were left with ‘no choice’ but to close the west London river crossing after ‘critical faults’ were found in the structure

They admitted that it was not designed to bear the load of modern weighty vehicles and the burden to the Grade II-listed bridge was laid bare today

They admitted that it was not designed to bear the load of modern weighty vehicles and the burden to the Grade II-listed bridge was laid bare today

They admitted that it was not designed to bear the load of modern weighty vehicles and the burden to the Grade II-listed bridge was laid bare today

It is not yet known when the 132-year-old Grade II-listed will reopen to traffic, but it is still open to pedestrians and dismounted cyclists

It is not yet known when the 132-year-old Grade II-listed will reopen to traffic, but it is still open to pedestrians and dismounted cyclists

It is not yet known when the 132-year-old Grade II-listed will reopen to traffic, but it is still open to pedestrians and dismounted cyclists

Pictures taken this morning show that rust has eaten away at the famous green metallic body, with some parts almost flaking away entirely. 

It is not yet known when the 132-year-old Grade II-listed will reopen to traffic, but it is still open to pedestrians and dismounted cyclists. 

Hammersmith and Fulham Council blamed the closure on a squeeze to Transport For London’s (TFL) funding due to ‘government budget cuts’ which meant there was no money for refurbishment works. 

The bridge opened in 1887 and it has had structural improvements dating back to 1973.  

Hammersmith and Fulham Council said they had to close the bridge because of safety concerns. 

Only one bus going in each direction was allowed on the bridge from 2015.  

Engineers have swooped in to assess the impact of the damage to the 132-year-old bridge

Engineers have swooped in to assess the impact of the damage to the 132-year-old bridge

Engineers have swooped in to assess the impact of the damage to the 132-year-old bridge 

Pictures taken today show that rust has eaten away at the famous green metallic body, with some parts almost flaking away entirely

Pictures taken today show that rust has eaten away at the famous green metallic body, with some parts almost flaking away entirely

Pictures taken today show that rust has eaten away at the famous green metallic body, with some parts almost flaking away entirely

The council wrote online: ‘Regrettably, we’ve now been left with no option but to close the bridge indefinitely until the refurbishment costs can be met. 

‘So we’re supporting TfL’s call for the government to invest in this vital river crossing and national monument – so we can get on with the work and reopen the bridge.

‘Hammersmith Bridge is a Grade II-listed, 132-year-old, structure. 

‘It was never designed for modern traffic. Hundreds of daily journeys by heavy buses cause regular distress to the bridge. 

‘That’s why we agreed with TfL in 2015 that they would only run one bus in each direction at one time, while we developed a longer-term strengthening plan. 

The bridge has had structural improvements dating back to 1973 but Hammersmith and Fulham Council were forced to call in engineers

The bridge has had structural improvements dating back to 1973 but Hammersmith and Fulham Council were forced to call in engineers

The bridge has had structural improvements dating back to 1973 but Hammersmith and Fulham Council were forced to call in engineers 

The council had planned to start work on refurbishing Hammersmith Bridge, but said Transport for London (TfL) could no longer fund a planned refurbishment due to 'government budget cuts' [File photo]

The council had planned to start work on refurbishing Hammersmith Bridge, but said Transport for London (TfL) could no longer fund a planned refurbishment due to 'government budget cuts' [File photo]

The council had planned to start work on refurbishing Hammersmith Bridge, but said Transport for London (TfL) could no longer fund a planned refurbishment due to ‘government budget cuts’ [File photo]

‘But this damage has now reached a critical point.

‘Closing the bridge is not a decision we’ve taken lightly and we know it will inconvenience many people. 

‘We’re sorry for that disruption, but we must put the safety of the public first.’

When the bridge closure was first announced, Hammersmith and Fulham Council tweeted: ‘We’ve had to urgently close Hammersmith Bridge to motorists because of safety concerns after our weekly checks revealed critical faults. 

‘We’re sorry for the inconvenience but we must put the safety of the public first.’ 

MailOnline has approached the Government for comment.  

Link hienalouca.com

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