Putney Bridge to undergo vital repairs
Vitally-needed repairs to Putney Bridge mean it will have to close to all vehicle traffic at 5am on Monday July 14. It is expected to reopen in October. The decision to fully close the bridge to all traffic – rather than have a partial closure – was backed by a clear majority of both residents and businesses during the public consultation late last year. The public's preferred option was getting the job done in the shortest possible time and at the lowest cost to taxpayers.
The original six month timetable has been drastically reduced. The council's contractors will be working extended hours to get the £1.5m of repairs completed as quickly as possible.
The vast majority of the works will now be carried out during the school summer holidays when traffic levels are at their lightest. This timetable should also ensure that the bridge will reopen in plenty of time for businesses to take advantage of the busy festive shopping period.
The overall repair programme now includes a separate project to fix the damage caused when a bus crashed into the bridge’s parapet wall a week before the closure. This will involve retrieving six large granite blocks from the riverbed after they were dislodged and fell into the Thames as a result of the collision.
These additional repairs will not impact on the wider project timetable which remains on target to be completed by October.
While the works are ongoing pedestrians will still be able to cross the bridge, as will cyclists, although they will need to dismount. Bus arrangements Buses will operate a shuttle service from both ends of the bridge. This means that passengers will need to cross it on foot to continue their journeys. Transport for London has confirmed it is putting arrangements in place to ensure that people only pay one fare for the two legs of their journey. Transport chiefs at TfL have published maps showing from where local buses will operate. Works schedule To achieve a faster turnaround it has been agreed that the permitted hours of working will be as follows: However the contractor has been told to schedule the repairs so that no excessively noisy works are carried out at unreasonable times.
The works schedule has been arranged in close consultation with Transport for London, neighbouring highway authorities, local amenity groups, business representatives and other partners to ensure a high level of co-ordination with other major roadworks in south and west London.
The programme has also been drawn up to avoid impacting on the Wimbledon tennis championships, while the works have been scheduled so that August's Ride London cycle event, which attracts thousands of professional and amateur bike riders, can still be accommodated.
Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: "These works are absolutely vital to protect the internal fabric of the bridge and ensure it lasts another 100 years. Our primary concern is to get this important job done efficiently and quickly so that there is the least amount of disruption to residents, businesses and the wider travelling public.
"Unfortunately a repair job on this scale to an important river crossing means that some degree of disruption is unavoidable, and we are of course very sorry for the inconvenience it will cause, but we have worked very hard to keep this to the absolute minimum.
"And we are giving people as much advance warning as we can so that they have plenty of time to plan alternative routes or look at using other forms of transport to get across the river."