The Albert Bridge, a historic, Grade II Listed structure, is not only a major route for traffic, but also enables over 3,000 pedestrians a day to cross the river. The bridge also sits in close proximity to residential properties and houseboats.
The Interserve team faced some interesting challenges on what was a very high profile project.
Creating a bridge for the 21st century
Firstly, the bridge deck was removed in sections to expose supporting metal. Works then included metalwork repairs and re-painting prior to replacement of the timber bridge deck.
The complexities of carrying out this work over water meant encapsulation tents were erected to prevent contamination by water and paint removed via grit blasting. The facelift also comprised new road markings, signs, street lighting and electrical installations to make the transformation complete.
Reaching out to the community
Keeping people in touch with the project was always a key consideration. With full pedestrian access created over the bridge via a protected timber tunnel, viewing points in the tunnel itself encouraged people to watch work progressing. Bringing in support from the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade reinforced the message on public safety. Neighbours on land and water were briefed via meetings and news updates.
Leaving a future legacy
Pupils from the local Christ Church School also engaged with the project – visiting site and helping to choose items for a time capsule. The said capsule remains hidden under the bridge deck and awaits discovery when the bridge undergoes its next refurbishment in years to come.