A major Thames crossing in London, England, which has been open only to pedestrians since 2019, will open to riding cyclists for ten weeks during a pause in the repair work.

In 2019, Hammersmith Bridge had to be closed following the discovery of microcracks. Work began to stabilise the Grade II* listed suspension bridge, which is made from wood and cast iron, and it was closed to everyone except pedestrians, with cyclists required to walk their bikes across.

But in December, a boat struck and damaged a gantry used by the construction crew. While the gantry is under repair, Hammersmith and Fulham Council have opened a central cycle lane down the middle of the bridge. The crossing is also open to cargo bikes and e-scooters, but motorbikes and mopeds cannot use the temporary cycle lane.

A dispute about who will pay for the work surrounds the project. The UK government wants Hammersmith and Fulham Council and Transport for London to split the US$316 million bill three ways.

The final stage of the project will see the four cast-iron corner pedestals jacked up to allow replacement of the bridge’s bearings. Previously, these pedestals were stabilised with a bespoke concrete mixture (link opens in new tab).