Boston Manor viaduct may need replacing

The Boston Manor viaduct – which carries the M4 and which was closed for a period this month following the discovery of cracks – may need replacing altogether, a minister has said.

The viaduct closure caused travel chaos, but it was reopened in time for the Olympics and the significant extra traffic expected from Heathrow into central London. Initially government said the structure could be repaired and last for “decades” but now roads minister Mike Penning has told New Civil Engineer that work has already begun to look into replacing the structure in the long-term.

While this could be some way off, it will reignite debate about the A4 from Hammersmith to Heathrow, and how it could be reimagined, for example by tunnelling the road under Hammersmith, to assist economic development.

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