Tower Bridge will be closed to traffic around the clock this weekend so essential maintenance can be carried out, City Bridge Foundation has revealed.
The charity, which owns and runs the bridge, said some road decking panels on the iconic structure need repairing.
The work was scheduled at short notice to take advantage of the recent announcement by TfL that the planned closure of Blackwall Tunnel this weekend would no longer be taking place, the Foundation said.
The bridge will close from 7.30am on Saturday, October 14 to 5am on Monday, October 16. This is on top of routine overnight closures taking place all this week from 10pm to 5.30am.
During the closure, signed diversion routes will be in place via Southwark Bridge. The Foundation and TfL has agreed to scrap the Congestion Charge for drivers using the diverted route.
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The bridge will remain open to pedestrians except at night and the Tower Bridge visitor attraction will be open as normal.
City Bridge Foundation Chairman Giles Shilson said: “We appreciate that closing the bridge at short notice will cause some inconvenience, including to local residents and businesses, and it’s not a decision we have taken lightly.
“However, we need to avoid a clash with the planned closures of Blackwall Tunnel which are taking place every weekend well into the spring, as Tower Bridge is the next Thames crossing along.
“As the tunnel is now remaining open this weekend, this is an ideal moment to carry out some essential work to the bridge. Failing to do so in good time would increase the risk that we might have to close the bridge for longer, with no notice and possibly during peak weekday hours, further down the line.”
The work is being carried out at no cost to the taxpayer by City Bridge Foundation – the 900-year-old charity which owns and maintains Tower Bridge and four other Thames crossings.