30 MARCH 1861, Page 4

The Court of Common Council has determined to demolish Black.

friars-bridge, and to erect a new one. At a meeting on Tuesday, Mr. The Court of Common Council has determined to demolish Black. friars-bridge, and to erect a new one. At a meeting on Tuesday, Mr. Valiance stated the grounds which induced Bridge-house Estates Com- mittee to recommend the adoption of that course. The bridge, he said, was built in 1760, and from 1833, when it became necessary to repair it, to 1843, 105,000/. had been expended in tinkering the structure, which, notwithstanding, in 1850 began to disclose new defects in the sinking of the centre piers, which had ever since gone on increasing. In 1852, the decay continuing, the late Sir William Cubitt and the late Mr. Brunel were called in to consult with the engineers of the bridge on its condition. The result was, that Sir William Cubitt, after a careful consideration of the whole matter, declared it to be his decided opinion that owing to the inherent de- fects connected with the shallow foundations of the bridge, and the very great, and probably the further lowering of the bed of the river, which would doubtless affect the stability of some of the other bridges also, it would be impossible to repair the bridge effectually, and that nothing short of a new bridge would meet the absolute necessities of the case. It was also the decided opinion of Mr. Brunel on that occasion that all attempts to put the bridge in a substantial state of repair would lead to disappointment and to larger aggregate ex- pense in the end than would be incurred in the construction of a new one. The committee, nevertheless, with the sanction of the Court, had since expended an additional sum of about 15,0001. in maintaining the fabric, and a large sum annually would still be required for the same purpose. The cost of putting one only of the sinking arches into an efficient condition of repair was estimated at little short of 40,0001.; and there were two others equally defective. Mr. Valiance then ad- verted to the bridge which the London, Chatham, and Dover Rail- way Company are about to erect, little more than one hundred feet to the east of Blackfriars-bridge, for carrying their line across the Thames ; and also to the proposed embankment of the river, as elements for consideration in connexion with this question. The eventual plan of the railway viaduct would depend much on the decision of the Court as to Blackfriars-bridge, with which it was now designed to accord as to the number of arches. Again, all the engineers' reports went to show that, regardless of the embankment of the Thames, the present bridge could not be put into an efficient state of repair. He contrasted the enormous expenditure of maintaining it in its present condition with the cost of the Pimlico railway bridge across the Thames (90,0000, which was erected in less than a year. He also pointed out how, by a reasonable interpretation of the Act of Parliament governing the expenditure of the Bridge-house estates' fund, the cost of a new bridge might be defrayed from that source, instead of having re- coarse to the City's cash. He moved, in accordance with the report of the committee, that, having regard to all the circumstances of the ease, the Court was of opinion that the present bridge should be taken down and a new one erected in lieu of it, and recommended that the committee be empowered to obtain designs for the construc- tion of a new bridge, with an estimate of the probable expense, and of making temporary provision for the traffic, and then to lay the same before the Court for its approbation. The motion was seconded by Mr. Alderman Rose. Alderman Dakin complained of haste, of a want of details as to the cost of a new structure, and saying that it would be time enough to deal with the question when the Thames is embanked, he moved that the consideration of the matter should be deferred until then. Mr. Bone seconded the amendment. The debate was continued with great vivacity, but finally the motion to adopt the report was carried by 72 to 47.