Due to safety concerns Hammersmith Bridge, a suspension bridge that crosses the River Thames in west London, has been closed to motorists since April 2019.
Between August 2020 and July 2021, it was also closed to all pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic beneath the bridge pending further investigations and safety assessments.
The owners, Hammersmith & Fulham Council intend to repair and restore Hammersmith Bridge to a fully operational crossing to relieve traffic on the road network across London.
Innovative way forward
In 2022, the council commissioned world leading architects and engineers Foster + Partners and bridge specialist engineers COWI to develop their pioneering plans to restore Hammersmith bridge by installing a temporary bridge truss within the footprint of the existing bridge structure.
This temporary truss is designed to provide lifting support to allow the existing bridge deck to be removed for repair, as well as enable both pedestrian and vehicular traffic to cross whilst the historic suspension bridge is refurbished.
Having provided marine navigation safety consultancy support throughout the closures and whilst the council and Transport for London considered various temporary and permanent solutions, we were invited to join the team of specialists brought together to develop the proposal for the temporary truss and bridge restoration.
How we helped
Specifically, we were asked to undertake a preliminary Navigation Hazard Analysis for the proposed refurbishment works including developing an outline marine concept plan to identify how the bridge segments, once dismantled, could be removed by barge for refurbishment and what impact that might have on river users.
We reviewed the key navigational impacts to river traffic associated with the marine works and investigated:
- the nature of river closures required due to changes in the navigational risk profile (resulting from the works);
- whether there would need to be limit the ability of vessels to pass below the bridge; and
- if there would be any reduction in headway for navigating vessels.
We also prepared the Navigation Risk Assessment (NRA) scoping for the Temporary River Works Licence submission and liaised with the Port of London Authority (PLA).
Image Copyright Hao Dong Unsplash