Hammersmith Bridge wrapped in foil during heatwave

·1-min read

With temperatures set to soar above 35 degrees next week, authorities have wrapped Hammersmith Bridge in giant pieces of foil to stop it from overheating.

The 135-year-old structure is currently undergoing £140million repair works and closed during similar heat in 2020 when the sun caused cracks in the cast iron to expand. It is currently only accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has made the modifications, which also includes a temperature control system - which will be turned over nights.

The cooling systems are designed to keep supporting chains to 13 degrees and engineers will need to close the bridge if it reaches 18 degrees.

Around £18million has already been spent on the Grade-II bridge but millions more will be needed to preserve it for the next century.

A £3 toll could be introduced for motorists (excluding emergency services and residents) by the council when cars begin to use it again in a few years. The council is still considering funding options.

Sebastian Springer, the engineer who is leading the project, said: "The safety of the public is our first priority.

"The temperature control system allows us to track weather spikes and maintain a constant temperature. As we deal with the current extreme heat, we are also coming up with innovative solutions to keep the temperature within the threshold."

Hammersmith Bridge, built-in 1887, is one of the world's oldest suspension bridges which is why it is also one of Britain's most expensive to repair

Works currently taking place on the bridge involve stabilising the micro-fractures in the pedestals to prevent the threat of future closures in extreme high and low temperatures.

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