timeline item
Here is the information we have
on the item you selected
More like this
© 2020 Engineering Timelines
engineering timelines
explore ... how   explore ... why   explore ... where   explore ... who  
home  •  NEWS  •  search  •  FAQs  •  references  •  about  •  sponsors + links
Hammersmith Bridge
River Thames, Hammersmith, London, UK
Hammersmith Bridge
associated engineer
Sir Joseph William Bazalgette
date  1886 - 18th June 1887
UK era  Victorian  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  TQ228781
ICE reference number  HEW 2249
photo  Jane Joyce
Joseph Bazalgette's Hammersmith Bridge replaced William Tierney Clark’s suspension bridge on the same spot. It uses the same masonry river piers and so has the same span and alignment.
The four sets of chains for the new bridge are made of mild steel, with links approximately 230mm by 25mm held with 150mm diameter steel pins. The supporting towers were constructed using a wrought iron framework clad in decorative iron castings. The chains are connected to saddle bearings at the top of each tower.
The bridge deck is suspended from the chains on wrought iron hangers. The original road deck of Danzig Fir planks was bolted to wrought iron cross girders, supported by longitudinal stiffening girders.
Bazalgette's bridge is 213.4m long and 13.1m wide, with an 8.2m wide carriageway. It was opened by HRH the Prince of Wales on 18th June 1887, and cost about £71,500.
Refurbishment work in 1973 included work on the hangers, replacing stiffening trusses with steel, new roller bearings atop the towers and new deck expansion joints. The deck timbers were replaced by 4.9m long wooden panels with coated plywood surfacing. This surfacing was replaced in 1987.
In 1984, the roller bearings of one tower failed under load and were replaced with elastomeric bearings that allow longitudinal movements in the chains.
By the 1990s, structural repairs and new lighting were necessary. On 3rd February 1997, the bridge closed to all traffic other than buses, bicycles, motorcycles, emergency vehicles and pedestrians. It reopened in 2000, subject to a 7.5 tonne weight limit.
Hammersmith Bridge has twice been the subject of bomb attacks. In March 1939, a pedestrian noticed a suspicious suitcase and threw it into the Thames just before it exploded — although another bomb did detonate on the bridge. In June 2000, it was the target of a terrorist bomb.
Temporary working platform: John Mowlem & Co
Chain links: Sir John Brown, SheffieldAbutment & tower casings: Whessoe Foundry, Darlington
Arch manufacture: Thomson & Gilkes, Stockton
Research: ECPK, JJ
reference sources   CEH Lond

Hammersmith Bridge