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£40M Nine Elms bridge gets approval

Plans for a new £40M bridge across the Thames have been approved by Wandsworth Council.

Construction of the structure would follow a design competition, which will potentially be launched later this year.

The new pedestrian and cycle crossing would connect the Nine Elms district with Pimlico to the north. Its exact location is yet to be confirmed but the preferred options are close to the site of the new US Embassy.

Nine Elms bridge options

Location options for the proposed Nine Elms bridge.

The bridge is part of a £2bn infrastructure package transforming connections in Nine Elms, including two new Northern Line stops, two riverbus piers, remodelled streets based on cycle friendly Dutch designs and major upgrades to three existing rail stations including the Vauxhall interchange.

The bridge and other transport improvements will be funded from private Nine Elms developments, expected growth in local business rates income, and possibly sponsorship.

The planning approval follows a Transport for London feasibility study which indicated the bridge would cost around £40m, and potentially carry around 9,000 walkers and 9,000 cyclists a day.

A statement from Wandsworth said: “Plans for the design competition will now be finalised, and the official launch could take place in winter 2014.

“A shortlist would be selected in early 2015 and the winning design announced in spring the same year. A programme of public engagement would run alongside the competition so local communities can help shape the proposals as they develop.”

The final designs would need planning approval from Wandsworth and Westminster Councils, and sign off from the Mayor of London.

Wandsworth said it envisaged a two stage competition. Stage one would invite expressions of interest and require concept proposals, which would then be shortlisted down to around four entries. Stage 2 would develop these initial concepts in more detail, looking at the design intent, costs and engineering as well as impacts on public realm.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council and co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, said: “The design will have to inspire and win the hearts of Londoners who are tremendously proud of their river and its heritage. It must work alongside the cutting edge modern architecture of Nine Elms as well as the elegant buildings on the north bank.  There will be engineering feats to overcome and the landing points on both sides must integrate sensitively and effectively with their surroundings.”

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