The restoration of the Grade II listed Chiswick Bridge is entering its final stage, with work due for completion in time for this year’s annual Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race.
Transport for London (TfL) said the refurbishment and strengthening of the 80-year-old structure will be finished by May.
The bridge, which crosses the River Thames in west London, was opened in July 1933. It carries 40,000 vehicles daily, plus pedestrians and cyclists.
Since April 2014, Bam Nuttall has been working to repair the structure and restore its heritage features.
Some sections of the bridge parapet and internal structures were showing signs of deterioration and had to be replaced to ensure that the structure remained usable.
Concrete repairs and refurbishment work has now been completed within the bridge structure and the strengthening of bridge parapets is also more than 90% complete.
The existing stonework that formed the parapets was inspected and, in places, stonemasons reinstated displaced stonework to its original position.
Where stone had deteriorated beyond repair, replacements were sourced from the same quarry that supplied the original Portland stone in the 1930s.
Waterproofing of the footpaths is now underway, helping to protect the internal structure of the bridge and improve drainage. When this work is complete, the footpaths will be fully re-opened with a new segregated walkway and cycleway. New heritage lighting will also be installed to the bridge deck and staircases during March 2015.
To complete the remaining works, three weekend closures of the bridge are required to replace the expansion joints, which are buried within the structure. The road deck must also befully resurfaced. This will take place from 21 to 23 February, from 28 February to 2 March, and from 7 to 9 March.
“Chiswick Bridge is a much loved heritage structure in west London, providing a vital river crossing as well as an excellent viewing point for the annual Boat Race,” said TfL director of projects & programmes for surface transport Nick Fairholme. The important refurbishment work we are carrying out is progressing extremely well - however, there are some aspects that, unfortunately, just cannot be completed without full weekend closures. We are committed to keeping the disruption caused by these closures to a minimum.”
English Heritage assistant inspector of historic buildings and areas for London Stephen Senior said: “Although the scale of the works has been extensive, we have been heartened by the conservation minded approach taken by TfL and all their contractors, enabling them to deliver a refurbished structure which retains all of the historic characteristics for which it was originally listed.”