From 10pm on August 25 until late on August 28; the central parts of London‘s most iconic bridge will remain in a raised position whilst essential repairs are carried out. The necessary maintenance work will involve repairing the worn metal plates at the rear of the bascules (the operational parts that are responsible for the movement of the bridge) which have suffered wear and tear over time.
Giles Shilson, Chairman of the Bridge House Estates Board, said: “as well as being a defining landmark of London, Tower Bridge is one of the capital’s key arteries and the wear and tear of daily traffic naturally affects the structure, which celebrates its 130th birthday next year”.
No cars, buses, or pedestrians will be able to cross the bridge whist the repairs are taking place, however, marine traffic will be able to continue as usual.
The visitor attraction inside the bridge will be unaffected by the closure but visitors have been advised to book in advance and enter the bridge from the north side.
Various local business have complained about being given no advance warning of the maintenance works. Local business will be affected by the closure as they rely heavily on the tourist footfall of the bridge. A Bridge House Estates spokesperson has said that the work had to be scheduled at a short notice, meaning that some local businesses were not informed.
Giles Shilson added: “we appreciate that the closure will cause some inconvenience but this work is essential to the smooth operation of the bridge, and will ensure it can continue to do its job for decades to come”.
In other words: the repairs are essential, so everybody might just have to build a bridge and get over it. Too soon? Maybe.