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Tower Bridge repainting work delayed

The start of work on the £4 million project to repaint Tower Bridge has been delayed, according to the City of London Corporation.

Tower Bridge
Sketch showing the planned scaffolding wrap on the south-western side of the bridge

Work had been due to start at the end of June, but an update posted on the City of London website last week was unclear as to when the project – due for completion in time for the 2012 London Olympics – will actually start.

"At present it looks as if there will be a delay commencing on site but as soon as we have a confirmed date we will issue a full update to all," says the corporation, which has not disclosed the reason for the hold-up.

When work commences it will take place in phases, ensuring only one section of the bridge is affected at any one time.

Phase one, lasting half a year, will cover the steelwork of the South Approach Span, the span between the Southwark bank and the south main tower.

The structure will be wrapped in scaffolding to ensure that the old paint does not contaminate the Thames.

The project is funded by the ancient Bridge House Estates Trust which announced the repainting of Tower Bridge and Southwark Bridge in April.

The bridge is likely to be closed to road traffic for several months in 2010. Simon Hughes MP is currently carrying out a survey to gauge local views on possible alternative arrangements for pedestrians and drivers during this extended closure.

The North Southwark and Bermondsey MP wants to know whether local residents and workers would support a ferry service for pedestrians during the bridge closure.

He also wants to know whether locals would support a suspension of the congestion charge for drivers crossing the Thames at London Bridge when Tower Bridge is unavailable.

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