The A4 flyover at Hammersmith remains closed, still with no fixed date for reopening, providing a continuing drag on the West London economy.
The flyover closed before Christmas amid concerns over serious structural faults. The salt in winter road grit has eaten into the steel cables which hold it together. Engineers are working to find a solution and get the road open again, but in the meantime congestion in the Hammersmith area is acute.
The traffic problems are spreading, as motorists try to find alternative routes, with diversions in place to the A40 and elsewhere. LB Hounslow has been forced to extend bus lane operating times and parking restrictions on Chiswick High Road to seven-day operating to avoid the road grinding to a halt under the weight of extra traffic.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said on the occasion of a visit to the flyover last week: “I can assure Londoners …. that a plan is being finalised within the next few days and work is already beginning on strengthening the flyover so that it is fully operational well ahead of the 2012 Games.”
However, despite this and other guarantees made by TfL, there have been reports that the flyover is unlikely to be able to open fully by the summer, which would be a disaster for West London, as well as a PR problem for London.
The closure is already an economic disaster for Hammersmith, says LB Hammersmith & Fulham, a continuing closure risks that disaster spreading.