Dates River Thames footbridges will close in major £6.6m repairs

The existing ramp at the southern approach to the suspension footbridge at Teddington Lock
-Credit: (Image: Richmond Council/AECOM)

Two pedestrian bridges over the River Thames in South West London near Surrey will temporarily close next month as part of major £6.6million repairs. Richmond Council is carrying out works at the Grade II listed Teddington Lock footbridges, which were built in 1889 to connect Teddington to Ham, in phases.

The council has confirmed the bridges will close over one weekend in June to allow a temporary ramp to be installed as part of the second phase of the works. The bridges will shut to the public at 8pm on Friday, June 14 and reopen at 6am on Monday, June 17. Local businesses The Flying Cloud, The Anglers, Tide End Cottage and The Boat Shop will stay open as usual.

A council spokesperson said: "We will be working 24/7 to ensure all the necessary works are completed so we can reopen the bridges on June 17. Over the weekend there will be lots of activity and some noisy works during the day and night. This is the only option to keep the closure to the weekend, avoiding disruption to commuters and schools during the week."

The repairs aim to make sure the crossing can keep being used safely for many years to come. The scheme was launched after an inspection of the suspension and lockcut footbridges, which are next to each other, in 2019 identified repairs that were needed.

The first phase of the works began in summer last year and included removing corrosion across the bridges, repairing and replacing the steelwork and applying protective paint. The authority also repaired timber structures on the island between the bridges, and another on the Ham side. It is also inspecting bearings on the lockcut footbridge, which are key to its safety as they allow it to flex and absorb movement during hot and icy spells. Second phase of works expected to take six months

The second phase of the works is expected to take around six months and involves replacing the ramp at the southern end of the suspension footbridge on Ferry Road. The council has already installed a dam around the ramp, which will let it cast the foundations for the new ramp and provide footings for the temporary ramp being installed to maintain access to the bridge during the works.

Lib Dem councillor Alexander Ehmann, lead transport member, added the authority is 'incredibly grateful for the forbearance of residents during this period'. He said the 'noisy works' expected over the weekend closure are 'far from ideal, but this is the only way that we can keep the closure to just one weekend and avoid more disruption to commuters, schools and others during the week'.

The council set aside a further £2.7m to fund the repairs in November last year, on top of the £3.9m it had already budgeted, after finding the bridges in worse condition than expected. This brings the total budget approved so far to £6.6m, which includes the first three phases of the scheme. A funding request for phase four is expected to be submitted to the council's finance committee for a decision in due course.

Design work required for the replacement of bearings on the lockcut footbridge will be carried out in phase three of the project. Phase four will involve the replacement of these bearings.

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