At last night's Camberwell Community Council Andrew Downes, of the Council's Transport Group, gave an update on the collapsed rail tunnel in Camberwell Grove, which is causing the road to be blocked at its mid-point.
Apparently the tunnel is constructed of brick and iron beams. One of the iron beams has a crack in it which could cause a catastrophic failure if action is not taken. Repairs to iron beams such as this are normally carried out before the beam has actually cracked, but in the case of the Camberwell Grove tunnel matters have gone one stage further already! Andrew informed us that Network Rail intend to carry out the repairs to the tunnel in February 2007 with the intention of those repairs being completed in March 2007.
Even when Camberwell Grove is re-opened it will still be subject to a 7.5 ton weight limit which will need to be strictly enforced. This will have to be done by some width restriction measures being taken on the approach to the bridge in order to ensure that no over-weight vehicles can pass. A long term solution to the problem will only be brought about with a complete replacement of the tunnel - which will cause major disruption to Camberwell Grove and trains on the line to and from Denmark Hill.
So we can expect Camberwell Grove to re-open to vehicles with new width restrictions on the road in March/April next year.