London’s Tower Bridge is set to close this weekend for three months to allow for essential works to be carried out.
From Saturday (1 October), vehicles will no longer be able to travel across the bridge until 30 December.
Engineers, who are sure to be experts in bearing installations, will resurface its bascules to help the 122-year-old bridge last well into the future.
A spokesperson for Tower Bridge said: “[It] needs to undergo essential maintenance works to ensure the iconic landmark continues to serve as a vital London river crossing.”
While the timber decking was last refurbished in the 1970s, it needs to be repaired again as more than 40,000 people and 21,000 vehicles cross the bridge every single day.
Therefore, the closure is likely to cause severe disruptions to Londoners. A diversion will be in place over London Bridge and Southwark Bridge, while London bus routes will also have to use travel alternative routes.
To minimise disorder, Transport for London (TfL) will introduce a free ferry service on the weekends to help people cross the river, cancel the Congestion Charge on the assigned diversion routes, and ban road works apart from emergency ones throughout the affected area.
Despite this, leader of the Southwark Liberal Democrats councillor Anood Al-Samerai told Southwark News: “The closure of Tower Bridge is just going to add more chaos to the existing gridlock.”
She added that TfL, as well as the council, should monitor the effects of the closure to ensure it does not lead to major traffic problems over the winter.