The Manser Practice has drawn up speculative proposals which ‘reimagine’ Hammersmith Bridge as a crossing closed to traffic but open to pedestrians and cyclists
The 132-year-old bridge was closed to drivers in April this year after the council detected ’critical faults’ in its structure. The total cost of repairs could be as high as £120 million and will take three years.
A £5 million temporary vehicular bridge (visualisation below), running parallel to the main crossing, had been mooted as a solution by marine engineering firm Beckett Rankine to keep traffic moving. However, these plans were recently rejected by council chiefs.
Hammersmith and Fulham said building the £5 million temporary road crossing while the main bridge was undergoing three years of repairs was ’not feasible’.
Now the Manser Practice, which is based on the bridge approach road, said local people have ‘responded positively’ to the bridge’s closure by walking to work and ‘enjoying the calm ambience’.
As an ‘internal creative exercise’, the practice has designed plans for how Hammersmith Bridge could contribute to the borough if it remained closed to traffic.
The reimagined traffic-free bridge also introduces a boat service, which encourages commuters to use the Thames clipper service and alleviate Tube and rail traffic.
According to the AJ’s sister title New Civil Engineer, TfL has now switched its focus to working up plans for a demountable cycling and pedestrian bridge, instead of the temporary road bridge.
NCE has reported that consultant Pell Frischmann has been brought in by TfL to work up designs for the bridge while it understands that at least three bridging firms have submitted their ideas for a temporary solution as part of a scoping exercise.
However it said the The Manser Practice’s proposal was not being considered by TfL nor the council at this time.
Beckett Rankine director Tim Beckett said that he ‘would not give up’ on his proposal just yet.
‘We still believe it can be done at the cost we submitted and we are having further discussions with Richmond council and local MPs,’ Beckett told New Civil Engineer.
Hammersmith bridge - rejected temporary road crossing