11:00am Tuesday 3rd June 2014
By Sophia Sleigh
Putney Bridge will close to traffic for three months while essential repairs are carried out.
The Grade II listed bridge is a major route over the River Thames and will close to all vehicles on Monday, July 14, as part of a £1.5m repair programme during the school summer holidays.
Engineers have said the bridge’s waterproof membrane, protecting the internal structure from water penetration, and the road surface are nearing the end of their surface life.
Initially the bridge, which links Putney to Fulham, was expected to close for six months but engineers predict the works can be done in half the time and Putney Bridge will be open in time for the Christmas period.
Pedestrians will still be able to cross the bridge but cyclists will have to push their bikes over.
Bus passengers will have to walk over the bridge in order to continue their journeys but a shuttle service will be provided at each side of the bridge.
Pressure is expected to be placed on surrounding roads and bridges, with 13,977 vehicles using the bridge daily between 7am-7pm, about 20 every minute.
The bridge will be open for the Wimbledon tennis championships and will also be able to accommodate the thousands of cyclists during the Prudential RideLondon event on August 10.
Wandsworth Council will send out about 60,000 warning letters to residents on both sides of the river, place large yellow warning signs on lampposts and use digital warning signs to alert motorists in the area.
Council leader Ravi Govindia said: "These works are absolutely vital to protect the internal fabric of the bridge and ensure it lasts another 100 years.
"Unfortunately a repair job on this scale to an important river crossing means that some degree of disruption is unavoidable, and we are of course very sorry for the inconvenience it will cause, but we have worked very hard to keep this to the absolute minimum.
"We are giving people as much advance warning as we can so that they have plenty of time to plan alternative routes or look at using other forms of transport to get across the river."
Residents have been 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).
For more information from Wandsworth Council visit wandsworth.gov.uk/putneybridge
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