Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Hammersmith Flyover - new pic, more spin and an apology

The BBC's Tom Edwards has just posted the above pic of twisted, and deteriorating iron inside Hammersmith Bridge which brings home the full extent of the damage that has been done to its infrastructure. It follows our MP Andy Slaughter deriding our Council's assurance that the flyover was expected to be open by the 9th Jan - Mr Slaughter published an email to him from TfL which appeared to contradict the spin that H&F were putting out. TfL said bluntly, to a question about whether what H&F were saying was true:

"TfL will not be able to open the Hammersmith Flyover next week, as while the inspections will be concluded, the structural calculations will not be and we need to put strain gauges on the structure and also check the completed workings with our external expert. We are hopeful of some return to traffic by the beginning of the week after once these steps are completed, but will only be fully certain when that is done".

And they added, tellingly:

"We communicated this to H&F".

Meanwhile at the other extreme the BBC were breathlessly reporting earlier today that it is now likely that the flyover will be shut for the duration of January - but were then forced to publish a correction, the like of which I don't think I've seen from them before - look at the end of this article.

So cutting through the media & political spin the truth seems to be somewhere about the "wait and see" point - not as good as open by the 9th but not as bad as closed till Feb. We shall see.


  1. The concrete suspension cables are corroded? Wow. Must be bad, for CONCRETE to corrode!! :-o

  2. My partner spoke to workmen on the flyover last week - they don't expect it to be fully operational for at least 3 months, more likely 6.

  3. "Fully operational" is different to "open", though. I suspect it'll be open to cars first, but works will still be ongoing. Once it's been re-opened to HGVs, I imagine there will still be a weight restriction until the works are completely finished and, more importantly, tested. I doubt you'll see any heavy plant equipment driving over it any time soon. Just as well we don't need to build any big sports stadiums or anything any time soon...