Wandsworth Bridge Repair Moves on to Next Phase

New bearings delivered from Romania to be installed

The crucial bearings arrive at Wandsworth Bridge. Picture: Wandsworth Council

August 22, 2023

Wandsworth Council says that the ten week project that has required the closure of Wandsworth Bridge is on time and on budget.

The expected date for reopening is 1 October.

Recently crucial replacement parts have arrived from the factory and the next phase of the work will see the bridge structure hydraulically lifted to replace bearings.

These bearings are critical to the safe operation of the bridge by allowing it to flex and absorb movement during hot and icy spells of weather. Without this ability to expand and contract the bridge structure would sustain damage rendering it unsafe for traffic.

The brand-new replacement bearings have arrived on site on Friday(18 August), following their lengthy journey from the factory in Romania where they were fabricated.

These new bearings will now be installed deep within the bridge’s sub-structure.

This phase commenced on Monday night (August 21) between 11pm and 5am when this “jacking up” procedure got underway on the northern section of the bridge.

To allow this work to be carried out safely, the bridge was fully closed between those hours. This means that pedestrians and cyclists were not permitted to cross the bridge between those times.

Similar restrictions will be in place for the second stage of the lifting process which is due to take place at the southern end of the bridge commencing at 11pm on Thursday, 24 August and continuing until 5am the following morning. This will again mean cyclists and pedestrians being unable to cross the bridge between those times.

Jenny Yates, Wandsworth’s Cabinet Member for Transport said, “I’m pleased to report that this crucial repair scheme is on course to complete on time and on budget.

“The works thus far have all been in preparation for the arrival of the bearings and have involved a series of measures to strengthen and support the bridge so it can be hydraulically lifted without causing structural damage. And with the arrival of the replacement bearings on site we can begin to move on to the next stage of the project.”

Once the new bearings have been fitted, the bridge deck will be waterproofed to prevent future internal corrosion, to be followed by full carriageway resurfacing.

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