Councillors opt for six month closure of Putney Bridge

Wandsworth Guardian: Putney Bridge Putney Bridge

Residents and businesses are to be consulted about the potential closure of Grade II Listed Putney Bridge for six months so £1.5m worth of repairs can take place.

Wandsworth Councillors have given their backing to plans to complete the works as "quickly as possible and at the lowest possible cost" to the borough’s council tax payers.

The option chosen by councillors is the complete closure of the bridge for six months at a cost of £1.5m.

The alternative option is to close the bridge for 11 months, whilekeeping one lane open, at a cost of £1.85m.

Councillor Russell King said: "We think that keeping the disruption down to the shortest time possible will be preferable to local businesses and the travelling public.

"That is why we are inclined towards a six month timetable rather than one that would take almost twice as long. The consultation will allow us to assess whether this is the case.

"In addition, there are also clear financial benefits to local tax payers if we are able to get the job done quicker.

"The bottom line is that the works do need to be done and the bridge does need to close for a period of time to allow this to happen."

Engineers have found that the bridge’s waterproof membrane, which protects the internal structure from water penetration, and its road surface are both nearing the end of their service life.

Residents are already contributing £150,000 towards the repair bill, but the remaining costs are being met by grants from the Department of Transport (£1.05m) and the London Bridges Engineering Group (£300,000) following successful lobbying of these organisations by councillors and council officers.

Residents and businesses who want to express a view on the proposed arrangements should email dtshighwayservices@wandsworth.gov.uk or write to Operational Services, Frogmore House, Dormay Street, London SW18 1HA and mark the letter Putney Bridge consultation.

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