Flyover reopens

The Hammersmith Flyover has reopened to light traffic, with one lane in each direction for cars only now open.

The Flyover closed before Christmas amid concerns over serious structural flaws, and there had been reports the flaws might prevent a reopening until the Olympics, causing congestion and “economic disaster” to West London.

The structural repair works, which TfL now expects to take around four months to complete, will focus on strengthening six of the 16 spans of the structure to ensure that they can carry full traffic loading by the 2012 Games.  The limited traffic arrangements are expected to continue throughout this period.

A TfL spokesperson told the Hammersmith Chronicle that the strengthening work would extend the flyover’s life  by up to 20 years, which prompted Deputy leader of Hammersmith and Fulham council, Nick Botterill, to suggest that a tunnel under the town centre might be the long term solution.

Such a tunnel has been proposed before, with a group of architects proposing a cut-and-cover for the A4, aiming to reconnect Hammersmith with its riverside. Land values in Hammersmith are such that the value created by new developable square feet above a sunken roadway would make such a scheme closer to viability than in most of the rest of the UK.

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