Work has begun to repair Hammersmith Bridge, after TfL invested £25 million to pay for repairs.

A detailed investigation was launched after the bridge was found to have several hairline micro-fractures in the cast iron casing around its pedestals, prompting its closure in April.

The refurbishment will allow cars and buses to cross the bridge, but TfL will continue to reduce the flow of buses on and off the bridge to prevent further damage.

The repairs are expected to take as long as three years to complete.

Richmond Council leader, Gareth Roberts, said: “We now know that Hammersmith Bridge needs serious restoration work following many years of heavy traffic usage.

“And I am pleased that Hammersmith & Fulham Council and TfL have found a way forward in funding part of the repair work.

“Over 2,000 local people and businesses from Richmond upon Thames told us in a recent survey that they are keen for the bridge to be repaired and reopened as soon as possible and whilst people will have to bear with the situation for a little while longer, the works will ensure that the bridge is future-proofed for many more decades.”

“We will continue to ensure that local people are updated regularly on the work, including the continued commitment from TfL to reviewing the local transport network, to ensuring that any impacts on our borough is mitigated.”

Both TfL and Hammersmith & Fulham Council are exploring funding methods in order to see which would be better suited to covering the next phase of construction, ahead of the planned award of a contract for the next stage of the works next spring.

Early estimations carried out have indicated that the repairs will cost £120m.

Engineers will continue to make changes to the estimations as the project progresses.

Garry Sterritt, TfL’s Head of Asset Investment, said: “This bridge is not only a historic and iconic structure in west London, but an important transport link - connecting people across the river and supporting local economies.

“We’re committed to supporting the next stages of the project and will work with Hammersmith & Fulham Council to identify the best way to pay for the later stages of the refurbishment.”