London’s Garden Bridge moves closer to reality
Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge looks like it will go ahead, despite ongoing controversy, as building contractors have now been appointed.
Construction firms Bouygues Travaux Publics and Cimolai has been jointly selected to build the plant-covered London bridge across the River Thames – designed by Heatherwick after being conceived by British actress Joanna Lumley.
The project needs to be competed to a strict timescale so it doesn’t clash with the building of a new sewer. This means the bridge will need to be finished by 2018.
Several important individuals in recent months have shown concerns over funding and have said the procurement process was unfairly biased to Heatherwick.
Billed as a "beautiful new garden floating above the River Thames", the 367-metre-long Garden Bridge is proposed across the Thames between the South Bank and Temple.
It is expected to cost £175 million, with £115 million from private donations and £60 million of public money already committed. Critics have suggested that taxpayers will end up paying for the remaining £30 million.