Garden Bridge Trust changes construction plans to cut disruption

The Garden Bridge Trust says it has "greatly reduced" the impact of building the Garden Bridge on the surrounding community, following discussions with Lambeth Council.

Barges to cut use of road network during Garden Bridge construction. Image: Pixabay
Barges to cut use of road network during Garden Bridge construction. Image: Pixabay

The improved proposals will result in a 35 per cent reduction in the number of road journeys required for construction, which the trust says will minimise the impact on the local highway network, Thames users and business and local communities in Westminster and Lambeth.

Updated construction plans were discussed at a meeting of the Lambeth Planning Committee on 15 December and approval was given for the discharge of four planning conditions. These relate to the trust's construction logistics plan, the pedestrian and cycle management plan, the code of construction practice, and the tree removal plan.

The trust also confirmed that has is entered into the next phase of the contract with the Bouygues-Cimolai JV for detailed design and other pre-construction services this week.

Preparatory works are scheduled to begin in spring 2016 with the moving of the HQS Wellington to its new location about 100m downstream, to provide access to the northern landing.

Construction of the bridge itself will start in the summer of 2016, and is set to open in 2018.

Bee Emmott, the trust's executive director, said: "There is real momentum in the project and we are delighted we have been able to make adjustments to our design and construction timelines to meet the needs of the community following our consultation. We are working closely with Lambeth and Westminster Councils to discharge our planning obligations and to get the site ready for construction next year."

The main structure of the bridge deck will be manufactured off-site in Cimolai's manufacturing facility in Italy. Bridge sections will then be transported by sea to the UK as large structures, coming in to Port Tilbury, Essex, for partial assembly. They will then come up the Thames via barge in four large sections to be lifted into place. 

The popular Bernie Spain Gardens on the southern landing site will remain open during construction and will not be used as a building access point. Queen's Walk was to be narrowed to 5m on the south landing site from October this year until Spring 2018. This has been widened to 7.65m and the site will remain largely unaffected until September 2016.

Deliveries that have to be made by road will come via two large holding depots located in Southwark within 3 miles of the Garden Bridge site. 

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