Starting from October this year, the iconic crossing will shut for three months to carry
out structural repairs and maintenance work. The London motorists who are already
frustrated by congestion by the introduction of new cycle lanes are bound for this
added misery from coming October.
This bridge that was started in 1886 and took eight years and 432 construction
workers to build was opened in 1894. Today nearly 21,000 vehicles use the crossing
every day. In 1910, the high-level walkways, which were designed keeping the
convenience factor in mind so that the public could still cross the bridge when it was
raised, were closed down due to lack of use.
The nearby Tooley Street is already closed eastbound until 2018. This is to facilitate
the Network Rail’s rebuilding of London Bridge railway station. Transport for London
(TfL) however, insisted that the closing of the tower bridge will have minimal
AA president Edmund King although was of the opinion that it will be mayhem for
already exasperated drivers of London. In his exact words, “Just when traffic will
have got back to normal following the disruption caused by the Cycle Superhighways
construction, London drivers will be hit by another dead end. Obviously, this iconic
bridge needs to be looked after but the traffic problems associated with it just show
how crucial bridge capacity is in London. The Seine in Paris has almost twice as
many crossings as the Thames in London. This shows the dire need for further east
London bridge crossings.”
The focal points of repair and maintenance are redoing the waterproofing of the
archways in the approach to the bridge, which were last worked on when they were
built at the end of the 19th century. The timber decking was also refurbished long
back in the 1970s and now needs replacement. Other things include resurfacing the
road and walkways.
“This decision to close Tower Bridge to vehicles has not been taken lightly, and this
course of action has been taken after extensive consultation and planning in
conjunction with numerous stakeholders”, said Chris Hayward, chairman of the
planning and transport committee of the City of London Corporation.
From the last 35 years, no significant engineering work has been done and so this
maintenance becomes vital irrespective of all mayhem it will cause.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/02/london-drivers- face-three- month-