The eleventh meeting of the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce was held yesterday, 14 January 2021.
It was chaired by Transport Minister, Baroness Vere. Attendees included the Project Director Dana Skelley plus representatives from the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, the Greater London Authority, Transport for London (TfL), and the Port of London Authority.
Dana Skelley, speaking on behalf of the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce, said:
The Taskforce held its first meeting of the New Year yesterday and reiterated its commitment to enabling Londoners to cross the river as soon as safely possible.
We were pleased to hear from the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham that they have commissioned Foster & Partners and COWI to conduct a full feasibility study into their proposal for a temporary bridge as presented at the previous Taskforce meeting; we look forward to receiving the completion of this study in due course.
We look forward to discussions with LBHF’s engineers Mott MacDonald and their risk consultants about their detailed analysis of the bridge’s north-east pedestal, the condition of which triggered closure of the bridge last year, and about the case for continued safe operation (CCSO). It was noted that the advice given to LBHF did not recommend reopening at this time. It is recognised that the precise condition of the two western pedestals will not be known until the blast cleaning works have been carried out. This is due to be completed by April and will enable us to identify any hidden fractures in the pedestals.
The Taskforce also heard the latest from TfL regarding the procurement for the temporary ferry service, which is well underway. We continue to expect the service to commence in the spring, although the precise operational timings will be dependent on the programme put forward by the winning bidder.
Lastly, we were pleased to hear that river users have been able to schedule and undertake controlled transits under the bridge on Sundays, when engineers are not working on the bridge.
The Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce was set up by the Department for Transport in September 2020 to work towards safely reopening the Hammersmith Bridge. The taskforce is chaired by Baroness Vere and includes representatives from TfL, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Network Rail, the Greater London Authority and the Port of London Authority.