Hammersmith Flyover ‘Is Unsafe’

Hammersmith Flyover is in danger of collapsing, according to a whistleblower who’s contacted the Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle.

Earlier this year TfL inspected the bridge, opened in 1962 to whoosh traffic between central London and Heathrow, and found it had deteriorated more than they’d expected. Temporary upgrade works have already started and will be finished by summer, when the A4 will form part of the Olympic Route Network.

However, the Chronicle’s source insists the:

post tensioned strands are severely corroded and in some cases completely severed…  these temporary solutions [TfL] are considering involve temporary propping which any structural engineer with half a brain will tell you is almost impossible to do correctly with a structure of this kind. It’s not a question of whether the structure will collapse, it’s a matter of when

We have no way of knowing exactly which part of the project the whistleblower is involved with but, er, if you’ll excuse a bit of language snobbery, we suspect they may not be a senior engineer. However, if the steel cables have gone then the bridge has major problems, and the “permanent solution” TfL is seeking could even involve rebuilding the whole thing. Which will cost a few quid.

TfL said:

Transport for London’s key objective is to provide a safe and efficient transport network, which is why we are currently carrying out essential maintenance work on the Hammersmith Flyover after a detailed assessment of its condition. Elements of the bridge, built in the 1960s, are being reinforced but the flyover remains open and safe to use. These works have been planned in close consultation with industry experts.

Photo by pixelhut from the Londonist Flickr pool. This article was amended after publication to include the statement from TfL.

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  • http://twitter.com/zanf chriszanf

    Considering that TfL ignored reports about the dangers inherent for pedestrians and cyclists at two major road junctions where 3 people have been recently killed, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if they are ignoring the impending dangers with this.

    TfL, as an organisation, is unfit for purpose and as an unelected and seemingly unaccountable body, should be immediately disbanded, its chief people face corporate manslaughter charges for those recent fatalities and a body put in its place that is transparent, accountable and subject to immediate recall.

  • Anonymous

    When it does collapse, can we please not rebuild it? A tunnel perhaps, or nothing, maybe a nice canal like in Korea?

    http://blog.sfgate.com/ontheblock/2009/07/07/traffic-congestion-a-problem-rip-up-the-freeway/

  • Johnny Brolly

    The Hammersmith Flyover has been a blight on Hammersmith ever since it was built.  A lot of people won’t belive this but Hammersmith could be a picturesque riverside town.  The town centre is a run down and unlovely place and at least part of the reason for this lies with the lovely bit by the river being cut off from the town centre by a dirty great motorway.

    A tunnel would be waaay better.

    Anyway, to balance stuff out and bring some cheer here’s a link to a picture of Jayne Mansfield opening the Chiswick Flyover;
    http://prints.paphotos.com/image/jayne_mansfield_opens_the_chiswick_flyover_1350208.jpg

  • Anonymous

    And now TfL say it’s not safe, our chappy was right all along.

  • Guest

    Chriszanf, you appear confused. TfL is chaired by an elected mayor, who is accountable to the electorate.

  • Ianddavidson

    Even a part cut and cover solution would be an improvement.