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Waterloo Bridge works

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Friday 26 February 2010 10.46am
I cross this bridge twice a day. Since the work started, I have seen no more than seven men working on it. This many is only of late, too. For the first few weeks, I only ever saw three at a time, on rare occasions rising to five. They seem to spend a lot of time standing about, as seems common to most roadworkers. And they are all finished for the day by at least 5.30 despite having some floodlights to allow for night working.

How can it be that in one of the world's most advanced cities, on one of the main river crossings, that this can be allowed to happen? I suspect that in any other city, a swarm of workers would be brought in to work 24 hours in shifts to get the job done in a matter of days.

Admittedly, I have no idea what they are actually supposed to be doing apart from what looks like resurfacing, but how can it be allowed to take six months or whatever it's meant to?

Incidentally, which council is responsible for the bridge? Or is it a joint affair?

Exasperated of Southwark.
Friday 26 February 2010 11.11am
Waterloo Bridge, is if I recall corectly, TFL Red Route - so Transport For London, rather than a London Borough.
There are restrictions on all road works as to when they're allowed to do work. Generally not during rush hour, or before a certain time am, or after a certain time pm. When doing work on site, the barriers are widened, to give the workers more room, and this causes more traffic congestion, also large vehicles delivering/removing plant, tools, machinery, materiels, etc cause more congestion. These movements are restricted to out of rush hour times.

essentially this means that when the vast majority of people are going past road works, there isn't actually any work being done.

all works require permits. 24 hour working would require overtime payments - yes work would get done quicker, but then gangs would have no work to do between, when one years money runs out, and April 1st, when they start again.
Also with lots or road works happening, your subcontracted gang or workers can't be everywhere at once.

I personally agree that roads should be worked on 24 hours a day if possible, to get stuff done quicker, and reduce the amount of time (no of days) that traffic management is in place, but there are restrictions in place. one of the biggest is the amount of noise you're allowed to make while on site.
(not applicable on Waterloo bridge necessarily)

hope that helps.
Saturday 27 February 2010 12.44am
La Martinet wrote:
I suspect that in any other city, a swarm of workers would be brought in to work 24 hours in shifts to get the job done in a matter of days.

Exasperated of Southwark.

This subject was brought up at a dinner party that I attended some months ago.
A civil engineer in attendance explained it like this, "It is all in the costing, a council or body will put a specific job out to tender.
Bloggs and Co. will offer to do the job for let's say 500,000, and says it will take two weeks.
Briggs and Co. tender an estimate of 500,010, but say that they will work around the clock and estimate one week to complete the job."
The job will go to Bloggs because their bill will be 10.00 cheaper, the fact that traffic will be delayed for two weeks instead of just one is of no consequence to the bean counters, they will be content that they have saved the council 10.00.
Saturday 27 February 2010 8.12am
The scale of economics yes, but surely the 'fault' is with the tax payer. Imagine the outrage of your average Mail reader if the higher bid is accepted. It's the same as when people complain about health care in this country and then cite the wonders of services under the scandinavian system. You get what you prepared to pay and unfortunately we've been educated to believe that the market will always deliver. Inevitably this means cheap, not better service.

We apologies for any inconvenience caused. Blame Milton Friedman.
Saturday 27 February 2010 9.13am
"With apologies..."
Saturday 27 February 2010 9.35am
Waterloo Bridge is maintained by Westminster Council:

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Monday 1 March 2010 11.05pm
And this disruption will be until December of this year!!! 11 months!!! Unbelievable.
Monday 1 March 2010 11.07pm
By the way, I seem to remember Blackfriars Bridge being given a 'makeover' which lasted 18 months. That was 5 or 6 years ago. They needn't have bothered. Do Planners talk to other Planners?
Tuesday 2 March 2010 5.09pm
Westminster City Council has put up signs at the foot of the bridge on the South Bank:

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Tuesday 2 March 2010 5.21pm
Ha - Perhaps they read this forum!

I thank JonR for explaining the vagaries of council finance and contracts, etc. but I still wonder why exceptions cannot be made for certain circumstances and sites.

Ye gods, a year! I'm sure the rest of the world laugh at us. The Romans would have done it quicker, and from scratch!
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