A3 Trunk Road: Wandsworth Bridge (southern approach); construction of underpass diaphragm wall incorporating instruments for measurement of earth thrust and other variables. Pt 3 of 3
|Location||National Archives (see all files stored here)|
|File base||Series MT, subseries MT 118|
This file has a misleading title – it does refer to the construction of an improved approach road to Wandsworth Bridge, but that road is A214. The A3 just passes over the top. Additional confusion is evident on the file itself, which is labelled "A4 Wandsworth Bridge Approach".
Contrary to what seems to have been thought previously, this file makes it clear that the Wandsworth Bridge Southern Approach scheme (for which the entire contract papers are in this file) was made by the GLC, not Wandsworth Borough. It follows that this scheme can't have been made in isolation from the plans, juicy though that story might be.
The file is mostly dry tender documents - yawn. However, a folder right at the back contains two plan drawings that rescue the file from terminal tedium. They show, in plan and elevation, the full dual carriageway scheme from Wandsworth Common to Wandsworth Bridge, including the large squareabout near the Thames.
The plans prove that there was a planned flyover, which was to cross the railway and the roundabout. The elevation plans show that it was supposed to reach road level to the north before the Thames, something that seems difficult on the ground. The flyover line does look fairly steep. There is, however, no information on whether the bridge was to be widened, or how wide the flyover was supposed to be, but for any kind of grade separation, Wandsworth Bridge would need to be wider than it is now.
The elevation plan also has a block marked alongside the railway labelled “future motorway”. This, excitingly, appears to be a little flash of the virtually ethereal Ringway 1-Ringway 2 link that would have run from Wandsworth to Clapham Junction. From the information available it's clear that it would be immediately south of the railway here – 30 feet from the bridge, to be exact. The plan refers to other diagrams which have details of flyover, etc. These are – naturally – not present.
Contents of note
- Those lovely plans, revealing all sorts of secrets.
- GLC/DG/PTI/P/05/075 Wandsworth Bridge Southern Approach (1966-1969)
People with camera copies
Chris Marshall has a partial copy.