Saturday, December 24, 2011

“It is not a question of whether the structure will collapse, it is a matter of when.” a source close to the Hammersmith Flyover project said last week.

There was gridlock in London yesterday when the Hammersmith Flyover was closed until further notice. Transport for London (TfL) has been carrying out temporary repair work in the 50-year-old four-lane stretch since October. A source close to the project told the Chronicle last week that the flyover, which links Talgarth Road and Great West Road, was not safe and 'could collapse at any point'. They said: “The severe level of deterioration isn't just bad, it's the worst kind of bad. The post tensioned strands are severely corroded and in some cases completely severed. “It is not a question of whether the structure will collapse, it is a matter of when.”

Garrett Emmerson, TfL chief operating officer surface transport, said: “Safety is our top priority so we've taken the decision to keep the flyover closed until at least early January while we undertake a full detailed assessment of the structure.

BBC presenter Chris Evans tweeted: "London is totally grid locked. Avoid West London at all costs. Never seen it like that."

One driver said it had taken four hours to get from Brixton to Hammersmith, while another said she had done six miles in three hours. The flyover - which normally handles about 90,000 vehicles a day - has been closed as internal cables which help to hold the concrete structure in place need urgent repairs.

So this will be a very interesting time with many coach drivers exceeding their 4 hour 30 minutes driving blocks due to the delays. I did not do too badly last night going into London via the A40 - I did just under 4 hours 25 minutes. Traffic coming out along the A40 was severely congested though. Coming out of London at 21.00 I took a chance and went through Kensington and past Olympia to Hammersmith with surprisingly no delays. I do not know how long the queue was stacked up along the Cromwell Road as you can't see past the building boards. It makes you wonder just how many unsafe flyovers there are around our country now this whistle blower has spoken.
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