Traffic in Hammersmith is a struggle at the best of times. But the recent flooding has caused exasperated motorists to complain of gridlock. The work is taking much longer than was initially indicated.
I have raised these concerns with Hammersmith and Fulham Council and the Network Permit Coordinator sent me the following update this morning:
“King Street/Hammersmith Bridge
As you are aware King Street suffered a major 30 inch water main burst which caused significant damage to the public highway as well as the Thames Water (TWU) assets. The water main has since been repaired, however Thames Water are required to charge the main back to full capacity to ensure there are no further issues. Whilst TWU were completing this operation their contractor was not allowed to work near the site until TWU gave permission to do so. The main has now been fully charged and TWU gave the go ahead to complete repairs to the highway yesterday morning.
The full repair to the carriageway and footway will take some time to complete given the extent of damage caused by the burst. Thames will initially complete the repairs to the immediate area of the burst so as to allow west bound traffic on King Street by Friday evening, before Hammersmith Bridge closes on Saturday. TWU have estimated the road will be fully reopened to traffic by Wednesday 14 February. Once Hammersmith Bridge has been re-opened TWU will then reattend site to complete the reinstatement of the remaining area of the repairs which will be completed under a road closure.
This also suffered a major 30 inch burst, however the damage was even more significant than King Street and will take a little longer to complete due to the damage and voids found under the highway after investigation.
Repairs to the main have been completed and as with King Street the contractors have to follow procedure and wait for TWU to give them permission to complete repairs to the highway. TWU confirmed today the main is being charged. Once this is completed I and my colleagues from Highways will hold a site meeting with TWU to agree the area of reinstatement. The meeting is scheduled for Friday 9 February subject to the water main being charged to full capacity. I anticipate the road is likely to be closed for a further two weeks given the known damage to the highway. However I will monitor TWU daily to ensure they work extended hours and resourced sufficiently in order the road is re opened as soon as is safe and practicable to do so.”
I have also asked Thames Water to comment.
A Thames Water representative adds:
We are installing a Sahara chamber in King Street, which will help us to monitor our network more effectively. This work is over and above the reinstatement work required but will build further resilience into the network, hence taking a bit longer; we started installing this yesterday. However, we are sensitive to the fact that Hammersmith Bridge will be closed from this Saturday and therefore we are now planning to complete the essential reinstatement on the westbound carriageway by COP tomorrow so that we can re-open that side of the road ahead of the closure of the bridge. This will ease traffic in the area and alleviate the disruption that would be caused if both the bridge and road were closed at the same time. In the meantime we will continue reinstatement works on the eastbound carriageway, which we anticipate will be complete by COP on Wednesday 14th February. The council has also requested additional repair works which consist of resurfacing of another 350m of the road. I understand that we are currently discussing this part of the reinstatement request with the council to reach agreement. If this work goes ahead, it will happen after 18th February once the bridge has been re-opened.
We are installing an additional valve in Goldhawk Road to add more resilience to the network there. The work is progressing and should be complete on Sunday. Once this is complete, the reinstatement work and trial hole work will commence and we anticipate that this will be complete on Thursday 15th February.”