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Tower Bridge closed to traffic for two weekends

Tower Bridge will be shut to traffic for two weekends before Christmas while new colour-changing lights are installed on the structure to prepare for the 2012 Olympics.

Tower Bridge will be closed to traffic from 11pm on Friday 25 November to 5am on Monday 28 November to allow scaffolding to be erected to enable work to commence to replace the bridge's 25-year-old lights with a new, energy efficient eco-friendly system.

The lighting, which received planning and listed building consent earlier this month, will be installed by contractors working for the City of London and will see a state-of-the-art LED lighting and cabling system installed in time for next year's 2012 celebrations.

Work will continue until March 2012 and once completed will help cut energy consumption from lighting the bridge by up to 40 per cent compared with today's usage, while enhancing its architectural features at night.

The project will enable coloured, flexible lighting displays which will be part of a daily 'spectacular' during the Olympic and Paralympic games intended to be viewed from London Park (aka Potters Fields Park).

The new lighting is being installed at no cost to the taxpayer after a funding package was agreed between the Mayor of London, City of London Corporation, EDF Energy and GE.

During the weekend closure traffic will be diverted via the Rotherhithe Tunnel and Southwark Bridge.

Pedestrians will still be able to use the pavements across the bridge during the weekend.

After the weekend contractors will continue to install the new lighting without the need for disruption to road users.

In order to further minimise disruption, TfL will be carrying out work to the carriageway on Tower Bridge and its approaches during the weekend. This will include detailed inspections of the condition of the carriageway, as well as CCTV surveys of the drainage on the bridge and approaches.

This work was originally planned to take place at Christmas but by rescheduling it to coincide with these works, fewer road closures will be required.

A further bridge closure is planned for the weekend of 16-19 December while the scaffolding is dismantled.

During this closure TfL will take the opportunity to begin the carriageway resurfacing works on Tower Bridge Road originally planned to take place next year, as well as encourage utility companies to take advantage of the road closure to carry out any planned works.

The remaining work will be carried out overnight at Christmas.

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