Restoration of Albert Bridge, London

Thanks to Ecochoice, Albert Bridge has become an even more sustainable structure for years to come.

Albert Bridge is one of the most eye catching bridges in the English capital but over the years it has succumbed to strength issues. It was clear that immediate steps had to be taken to ensure the safety of the general public.

Even when it was opened in 1873 soldiers were instructed to break step when crossing.

Originally, Albert bridge was constructed for the use of horse and carriages; with its a fragile cast iron structure and timber decking, it was never designed to take the day to day punishment of thousands of motorists on their daily commute.

Around 5.8 million vehicles cross the bridge every year.

Despite a weight limit of 2.5 tonnes the bridge was deteriorating quickly so Ecochoice had to carry out major restoration works to save it from being permanently closed.

The Restoration of the Albert Bridge included:

  • Replacement of all rotting timbers including the carriageway and pavement deck surfaces
  • New steel sections to strengthen the bridge's structure
  • Installation of new timbers to strengthen the foot-way
  • Replacement of the bridge's lighting with new energy efficient alternatives
  • Refurbishment of the toll booths
  • Stripping back the existing paintwork – this amounts to removing an amazing 12 coats of paint down to bare metal
  • Repair and treating the metal
  • Repainting the bridge with three coats of paint, thus bringing it back to its original splendour.

Thick FSC Douglas Fir bearers (270×350mm), cut to precise lengths and treated with creosote under exclusive authorisation to match the original beams.

FSC Eveuss decking was also sourced for this project directly from FSC forests in Cameroon (West Africa). Eveuss is a durable species, researched and approved by TRADA and the Environment Agency. The kiln dried decking was delivered in half-lap profile for improved performance.

Project Completion

Once completed it was calculated that the restoration works to the Albert Bridge cost around £7.2 million. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea contributed 25% of funding with Transport for London provided the remaining 75%.

A spokesman for Interserve, which carried out the work, said it was “a fragile cast and wrought iron structure with timber decking, built for horses and carriages”.

Councillor Nick Paget-Brown, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “I think we can be proud of the level of workmanship in the restoration of Albert Bridge. It proved even more challenging than we originally thought as once the work began we discovered much worse corrosion to the iron and steel in the bridge.”

For more information on the durable timber used for the Albert Bridge restoration project, please contact us.


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