Transport for London says the A4 Hammersmith flyover in west London will remain closed until “at least early January” after serious structural defects were discovered during routine monitoring last Thursday night.
That shut the overpass – where the A4 morphs into the M4 – during yesterday’s busy pre-Christmas commute. Travellers leaving the capital were reporting average speeds of just 2mph over six miles.
And last night TfL confirmed that the route will be out of action for weeks, at least, while it carries out “an even more detailed assessment of the complete structure.”
The flyover, which dates back to the 1960s, is constructed from many hundreds of hollow stressed concrete sections. Corrosion in the cables that hold these spans together is worse than expected, which could bring forward “major repair work” by years. It’s unclear how fully the flyover can be open to traffic during repairs.
TfL says that local diversions are already in place, but that local road works and other traffic signals may be tweaked too to try and ease congestion. Meantime, it suggests drivers allow more time for their journeys or, better still, avoid the area altogether.