A temporary crossing that could be built in three months is being considered to ease the problems caused by the closure of Hammersmith bridge.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the £5 million proposal — which could be started early next year — will be studied by Transport for London engineers facing a £120 million bill to reopen the Victorian bridge to vehicles.
The 132-year-old bridge, which links Hammersmith and Barnes, was closed to drivers by Hammersmith and Fulham council in April when safety sensors detected “critical faults”.
It has remained open to cyclists and pedestrians but buses and cars are diverted via Chiswick and Putney bridges.
Marine consulting engineers Beckett Rankine suggested building a temporary bridge next to the existing structure after Planning in London magazine launched a search for ideas.
Director Tim Beckett said the “off the shelf” bridge, which would be floated up the Thames in sections and would sit on steel tubes, could be built in three months if planning permission was secured.
It would have a 7.5m-wide carriageway and a footway, and will last 10 years. Mr Beckett told the Standard: “It’s decent quality but it’s got no frills.”
TfL contacted Mr Beckett as soon as his idea was published by New Civil Engineer magazine.
A petition set up by residents backing the idea has hundreds of signatures. TfL has provided £25 million for preparatory work for Hammersmith bridge repairs but other funds are needed for the anticipated £120 million total bill.
The work is expected to take three years, with no fixed start date. TfL had already examined the possibility of a vehicle-free bridge. Mr Khan said of the new idea: “I’m sure this will be considered.”
Tony Devenish, London Assembly member for the area, said: “What we have got to do now is make sure TfL studies this idea as quickly as possible.”
To sign the petition, click here.