TfL allocates extra cash to fix ageing bridges and tunnels

TfL bridges and tunnels
newcivilengineer

Of that, TfL’s major asset renewals programme will receive a £135M additional investment to repair key bridges and tunnels.

TfL figures show that about 200 out of 500 bridges and other structures that it maintains in the capital have sections in "poor" or "very poor" condition.

The transport operator has previously warned that key routes such as the A40 Westway, Rotherhithe Tunnel and Gallows Corner Flyover face being closed without the investment for major repairs.

Speed and weight restrictions are already in place on all three routes. The speed limit on the A40 Westway was reduced from 40mph to 30mph this summer, while heavy goods vehicles have not been permitted to travel through the Rotherhithe Tunnel since December 2019.

Various speed restrictions are also in place at the Gallows Corner Flyover and surrounding approach roads.

 

All three routes are part of TfL’s Surface Transport Asset Renewals Programme, which also includes upgrades to Vauxhall Bridge and Lambeth Bridge.

Board agenda papers released ahead of this Friday’s meeting (December 11) add that the extra investment will help TfL avoid similar closures to those seen on Hammersmith Bridge.

“We must invest in our assets to avoid degradation and loss of service. The full closure of Hammersmith Bridge is a reminder of the impact of historic under-investment,” the papers state.

“Following the development of our 25-year capital plan for surface assets, we have created a robust plan of renewals, which has increased our expenditure by £245m over five years.

“The change in gross expenditure reflects the revised view of the necessary renewals required to maintain assets to ensure safety and reliability across our network.

 

“This is crucial, as the impact of coronavirus has effectively extended the two-year pause on proactive renewals by a further four months.”

The report adds that the £135M pot will fund repairs to the Rotherhithe Tunnel and the A40 Westway.

The report adds that “design work is progressing to plan on the bridge expansion joint scheme on the A40 Westway”.

It adds: “The major project to upgrade fire systems to the Rotherhithe Tunnel is also progressing through the outline design phase as scheduled and feasibility works have begun on the Blackwall Tunnel systems and Brent Cross structures”.

£50M will also be spent on “other crucial highways infrastructure”; £20M of which will be used for bus assets, including the renewal of our historic Kingston Road bus station.

TfL previously estimated that it needs  a £2bn investment in its road network during the next 10 years to prevent key road bridges and tunnels from shutting.

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