London Mayor Borris Johnson has given the final green light to the city's Garden Bridge project, meaning that construction on Thomas Heatherwick's design is likely to begin within the next year. Johnson, who has long been a proponent of the project despite mounting criticism, said in a statement that the bridge "will provide a fantastic new landmark for London whilst supporting regeneration and economic growth on both sides of the Thames," and "create a stunning oasis of tranquillity in the heart of our city and boost our plans to encourage walking."
Never mind that this stunning oasis will require (free) ticketed entry, be off limits to cyclists, require that groups of larger than eight get prior approval, be closed after dark, and is a pretty questionable use of £60M (~$90M) in public funds that might be better spent connecting areas of London that, unlike Temple and South Bank, don't already have nearby crossings. Like Barry Diller in New York, actress Joanna Lumley wants a Heatherwick park that's essentially in her name, regardless of its ability to do much beyond serving the recreational needs of the affluent.
London's City Hall and Her Majesty's Treasury have each committed £30M to the project. £50M has been secured from private donors, while more are being sought out to fund the remaining $65M. Johnson has said that Transportation for London will not underwrite any of the £3.5M in annual maintenance and operational costs, meaning that the Garden Bridge Trust still has to figure that part out.
· Garden Bridge Gains Final Approval From Mayor of London [Arch Daily'