The Real Deal New York

Thomas Heatherwick’s London bridge is falling down, financially speaking

April 08, 2017 11:00AM

A yet-to-be-built bridge in London is falling down, in a manner of speaking. The so-called Garden Bridge designed by starchitect Thomas Heatherwick that would cross the river Thames in London could soon be scrapped.

A review of the project carried out by Labour politician and former chair of parliament’s public accounts committee Margaret Hodge found that building the pedestrian bridge would not be a good use of taxpayer funds. However, £45 million of public money has already been poured into the project, according to Dezeen.

Initially, the project carried an estimated price tag of £60 million, but the study found that it could cost over £200 million.

“I did not seek to ask whether the concept of a garden bridge over the River Thames is a good idea. But my review has found that too many things went wrong in the development and implementation of the Garden Bridge Project,” said Hodge of the report. “Value for money for the taxpayer has not been secured. It would be better for the taxpayer to accept the financial loss of cancelling the project than to risk the potential uncertain additional costs to the public purse if the project proceeds.”

Heatherwick unveiled his design for the bridge back in 2013. But the new report also questions the architect’s involvement. The report says that “procurement options were intentionally developed to enable Heatherwick Studio to qualify.” [Dezeen]Christopher Cameron