Repairing Hammersmith Bridge could cost £120m, according to early stage estimates announced by Transport for London (TfL).
The bridge was closed to motorists in April, after Hammersmith and Fulham Council claimed it had discovered “critical faults” during a weekly safety check.
The first stage of repair works for the bridge have started this week but complete repairs are expected to take three years.
Several hairline micro-fractures were discovered in the cast iron casing around the pedestals, which have held the bridge’s suspension chains in place since 1887.
TfL has said its costing is “purely early stage” but said it included allowances for unknown costs given the complexities of repairing an aged, Historic England-listed structure.
It has provided £25m towards to the repair and said it is currently working with Hammersmith and Fulham Council to identify additional funding options.
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham leader Stephen Cowan said the bridge “can be made fit-for-purpose for generations to come. That’s what we’re doing, and we’re focused on getting the bridge reopened to cars and buses as quickly as possible”.
The councillor said the structural review undertaken to ascertain the necessary works was the first of the bridge in decades and revealed corrosion and additional failings throughout the 132-year-old structure.
Once opened, cars and buses will be able to use the bridge though TfL said it would continue to limit the number of large buses using it.
TfL head of asset investment Garry Sterritt said: “This bridge is not only a historic and iconic structure in west London, but an important transport link – connecting people across the river and supporting local economies.
“We’re committed to supporting the next stages of the project, and will work with Hammersmith and Fulham Council to identify the best way to pay for the later stages of the refurbishment.”
In June, then transport minister Michael Ellis, criticised the mayor and council after apparent squabbles over who would pay for the repairs.
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