Creaking Hammersmith flyover 'in dire need of reinforcement

A flyover carrying millions of cars a year into London is in urgent need of repairs, it was claimed today.

Transport for London is reinforcing parts of the four-lane A4 Hammersmith flyover but a source close to the project alleged lives could be in danger because of corrosion.

TfL insists the road is safe but concedes parts of it are approaching the end of their "operational life".

The Sixties-built flyover carries nearly 90,000 vehicles a day on average, government figures show. It crosses the Hammersmith gyratory and links the A4 Talgarth Road to the A4 Great West Road. TfL began work in September to "preserve and extend" its working life after engineers checked the internal cables and found work was necessary sooner than had been expected. The cables help hold the flyover together. 

TfL decided on temporary strengthening, allowing the flyover to be open for the Olympics. However, the source claimed: "It could collapse at any point, owing to the nature of its construction and the severe level of deterioration."

The source added that "any structural engineer with half a brain" would deem the temporary measures inappropriate. "The severe level of deterioration isn't just bad, it's the worst kind of bad. It's not a question of whether the structure will collapse, it's a matter of when." He told the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle that TfL "are burying their heads in the sand... and putting the public at risk."

But Garrett Emmerson, chief operating officer at TfL, said: "Our key objective is to provide a safe and efficient transport network, which is why we are carrying out essential maintenance work after a detailed assessment.

(Evening Standard)