Hammersmith Flyover 'Is Unsafe'

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 89 months ago
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.

Last Updated 15 December 2011