Renovation work on the Albert Bridge, spanning the Thames between Chelsea and Battersea in London, is set to continue until the end of the year, passing the target date of Autumn 2011.
The 138 year-old bridge has been closed since February 2010 with repair work due to take eighteen months. After inspection consultant engineer Hyder and contractor Interserve discovered the bridge is in a worse condition than anticipated.
Following bridge closure engineers discovered the cast iron girders had substantial corrosion and many more sections needed to be cut and replaced than expected.
Also, contractor Interserve has been subjected to a number of scaffolding constraints which has limited repair work.
Scaffolding is due to be removed on the north tower by August but client Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council hasn’t confirmed a timescale on when the bridge will reopen.
Repairs on the bridge consist of:
- Replacing all the rotting deck timber and the carriageway and pavement deck surfaces
- Putting in new steel sections to strengthen the structure
- Removal of corroded metal and retrofitting of new timbers to strengthen the footway
- Replacing all the lighting with new energy efficient lighting
- Refurbishing the toll booths
- Stripping off all the existing paint - this amounts to removing 12 coats of paint down to bare metal
- Repairing and treating the metal, and finally,
- Totally repainting the bridge, bringing it back to its original splendour