Council flags £130m strengthening deal for Hammersmith Bridge

The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham has alerted contractors to £130m of strengthening work at the troubled Hammersmith Bridge.

The council published a prior information notice regarding the deal to cover Stage 2 of its programme to restore the 135-year-old structure.

Hammersmith Bridge, which carries the A306 over the River Thames in west London, has been closed to motor vehicles since August 2020, when cracks in the structure were found to have expanded during a heatwave.

Although it reopened to pedestrians and cyclists in July 2021, and a £9m stabilisation project led by contractor FM Conway began earlier this year to protect this temporary arrangement, far more extensive works are required to allow the crossing to revert to full use.

A technical study by architects Foster + Partners and bridge engineers Cowi last year found that a temporary double-decker crossing, using the existing bridge foundations, would cost about £100m – getting cars across the river again more quickly and cheaply than alternative proposals.

The council said it was investigating its “engineering options” and that the “indicative capital cost” of Stage 2 works was between £80m and £130m.

It added that it was considering a range of options for the delivery of works, including a design, build, finance and maintain model, and a more limited design-and-build contract.

“London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham wishes to conduct an early market consultation exercise to seek feedback from the market on the proposed commercial structures and risk allocation, and to gauge the level of appetite for the proposed approaches,” said the notice.

Further market engagement may be carried out before a full contract notice is issued later this year.

A row broke out at Richmond Council earlier this year over proposals to provide £2m towards works to Hammersmith Bridge.

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