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Hammersmith flyover concerns grow ahead of Olympics

Engineers are continuing to carry out investigations on potential solutions to the damaged Hammersmith flyover after fears grew that the structure could be closed for longer than first expected leading up to the Olympics.

Labour MP for Hammersmith Andy Slaughter contacted TfL and asked a series of questions about the status of the structure including whether TfL has made anassessment of the work that is necessary, when it will be completed and for what period the flyover will be closed.

Maintenance contractor Amey is carrying out the investigations.

In its response, director of group public affairs and stakeholder engagement David McNeill said: “The work going on now and over the [Christmas]break is to fully establish the extent of the problem and the remedial works that will be required. We’ll be able to give you a clearer picture once this work is done.”

TfL stated that the damage to the flyover, built in 1962, has been caused by water ingress, including salt water due to grit laid during the winter months, which has corroded and weakened the cables which help support the flyover. 

BBC cameras were allowed onto the site and broadcasted the extent of the problem, with cameras showing sprawled and corroded supporting cables.

In a statement on 30 December, TfL insisted a solution to the problem would be implemented “well ahead” of the London 2012 Olympics.

A solution is now not expected until next week with TfL expected to update the public on the latest situation today and TfL insisted they were working ‘flat-out’ to find a solution to the problem.

Mr McNeill’s response to Labour MP Andy Slaughter

The closure was for safety reasons – essentially to fully establish the risks to the structure. This is not an issue of dramatic imminent collapse, but nevertheless TfL has to operate under the strictest of safety thresholds.

It was prompted by the inspection and assessment on the Thursday night. Concerns have been building about the flyover since we began our investigations following issues coming to light through routine monitoring and, as you know, we had to bring forward renovation work by some years earlier than had been anticipated for a structure of this age.

As a result TfL has been conducting detailed structural investigations.

We have published journey planning advice on the website, through all media channels and on roadside indicators.

Your constituents would be best advised to go around the problem rather than through the diversions via the Hammersmith gyratory.  The best route for that would depend on where they are coming from and going to. 

Westbound traffic for the A2 and M2 and Heathrow is advised to use the A3220, A40 and A312.  No alternative route is ideal, so we are recommending that people allow extra time for their journey.

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