London’s Garden Bridge promised to be one of the most exciting attractions in a city teeming with architectural gems. The tree-lined structure, intended to span the River Thames and link the temple to the South Bank, met a major roadblock in April when London Mayor Sadiq Khan withdrew support for the project. The bridge, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, has been estimated to have cost almost $260 million, with an additional $3.9 million a year to keep the bridge at its aesthetic level. When the enormous cost of building and maintaining the bridge was first revealed, there was a great deal of public outcry. Because the project was funded primarily from taxpayers’ money, many felt the money could and should be used for something better than a vanity project.
In a general statement to the public, The Garden Bridge Trust – the charity set up to build and operate the proposed bridge – announced it was ending the project. “The Trust had no choice but to make this decision as the Mayor does not support the project,” the statement said. “We would like to thank all donors and supporters who have tirelessly supported and encouraged us along this journey.”
Garden Bridge Trust leader Lord Mervyn Davies issued a more discouraging statement. “It’s a sad day for London as it sends out the message to the world that we can no longer deliver such exciting projects.”