The Thames will be closed from next Tuesday for essential repairs, the River Authority announced today.
Repairs will be carried out between the Thames Barrier and Kingston, with a 100% restriction on movements of water, boats, fish and sewage.
The £500,000 repair project is needed as a result of damage to the river's surface caused by the extreme cold spell in January, which also affected roads in the area. Workmen, hanging from hi-tech nets specially erected for the purpose will smooth out surface defects and fill imperfections. It is hoped the work will be completed in time for the Olympic Games.
"At £2 million, it's one of our biggest projects to date", said the recently appointed Chief Surface Smoother, Omatayo Okunnu.
"People have experimented with quick fix solutions, like BP tried using oil to flatten the sea, but ultimately you cannot beat a craftsman's touch" he added.
While repairs are ongoing, water that would normally move from Kingston to the sea will be diverted to Richmond Park, with essential water only being carried by rail from Hampton Wick station to Woolwich Dockyard, at a cost of £17 million.
From midnight on Tuesday, river craft over 20' length will be permitted to use the A406 North Circular road, with drivers of smaller craft being encouraged to take the tube.
A Mayor told us:
"I think it is essential that the major sightseeing venues are really tarted up for 2012 so that the 18 billion foreign visitors will think London is better than it actually is."
"Of course we regret the inconvenience to local people, especially the good people of Richmond, but these games are very important and I have to make a name for myself, so there are sound reasons for authorising the £267 billion project"
The nurse is coming with my medication so I have to stop typing.