London’s stricken Hammersmith flyover could be replaced by a tunnel costing £1.7Bn according to a report for Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council by consulting engineer Halcrow.
The report says the tunnel could be built in three years and identifies three alternatives. The £1.7Bn option would be a 2.5 mile long deep tunnel 25 metres below ground - London's longest road tunnel - running from west of the Hogarth roundabout to Earls Court Road. The cheapest would be a £218 million cut-and-cover alternative following the line of the existing flyover from Furnival gardens to near Barons Court underground station. The other option would be for a 2.2 mile tunnel that surfaces at North End Road. Either way many engineering jobs would be created to replace Hammersmith flyover.
According to a council survey there is 89% support from local people for a replacement for the 620 metre, 53 year old elevated concrete flyover that carries the A4 into Central London. Some 90,000 vehicles use the flyover a day but it has had to undergo a disruptive £60 million programme of essential repairs to keep it operational.
A tunnel would remove what many regard as an eyesore that has reached the end of its working life and free up land under the flyover for development. This development potential could make the scheme self funding, with prime riverside land likely to be valued at around £1Bn.
Council leader Nick Botterill said: “This detailed report spells out three possible replacements: from a shorter tunnel that would act as a catalyst to transform our divided town centre, to something longer stretching into neighbouring boroughs.
“We now know there are at least three ways to tear down Hammersmith's Berlin Wall. Each of the options has pros and cons but we are now clear that they are possible and, in some cases, may even be self-financing, which is an important factor for taxpayers.”
The finalized report will be presented to Transport for London in March.
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