The idea of constructing a garden bridge over the River Thames might seem like a brilliant one, but spiralling costs and difficulty in obtaining funding to maintain the finished river crossing could see the project scuppered.
According to a review of the plans carried out by Dame Margaret Hodge MP, the cost of the new bridge has increased from £60 million to over £200 million. Just £69 million has been pledged by private donors so far, and with the government only committing to providing £60 million for the project, there is a significant shortfall, Construction.co.uk revealed.
Dame Margaret recommended that the project be scrapped if more private funding cannot be found, as the risk to the taxpayer is too great.
“In the present climate, with continuing pressures on public spending, it is difficult to justify further public investment in the Garden Bridge,” she stated in her report.
However, the Garden Bridge Trust, which is leading the project, said that it is confident the bridge will still be constructed, adding that it would bring “huge benefits” to both the city and the UK.
If it’s completed, the Garden Bridge will be 366m long, providing a pedestrian crossing from the Temple underground station to the South Bank.
The idea is to create a nature area in the heart of London, with a series of meandering paths providing a pleasant way for pedestrians to cross the river. The bridge itself will be a copper-nickel structure, while the foliage that’s planted will be selected to represent the different characteristics of the parts of London it’s linking.
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