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Hammersmith flyover strengthening to focus on additional tensioning

Work on the Hammersmith flyover is likely to involve additional tension cables, but not temporary props, Transport for London officials told NCE today.

Transport for London (TfL) director of roads Dana Skelley said investigation work is still ongoing on the bridge, but confirmed the strengthening would consist of adding new tension cables to the structure, as opposed to using temporary props.

TfL shut the bridge on 23 December after engineers discovered some major corrosion on the prestressed reinforced tendons – which hold the bridge together – around the piers.

The corrosion was so severe it had caused a number of the tendons to snap. This led to a detailed investigation involving a team of 80 engineers from TfL, its maintenance contractor Amey and expert contractors and leading structural engineers throughout the Christmas and New Year period to assess the strength of the bridge.

Engineers told London mayor Boris Johnson today that investigations must continue for another week before they are in a position to decide whether it is strong enough to allow reopening to light traffic.

However, engineers confirmed that preparatory work for the installation of new cables within the structure can begin, which will allow full traffic loading in advance of the London 2012 Games.

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