Albert Bridge Reopening Delayed

Repairs could take until the end of 2011

Wandsworth councillors are calling on the neighbouring borough of Kensington and Chelsea to complete the long-running repairs to Albert Bridge as quickly as possible.

The bridge was due to reopen next month having been out of action for the past year and a half while extensive structural repairs were carried out.

However, it has now emerged that the repairs could take up to the end of the year before they are finished.  Engineers working for Kensington and Chelsea say the bridge has suffered much more corrosion than initially thought and is in a far worse state than anticipated.

In a statement released to the media this week, the royal borough said: "Unfortunately, the bridge is in a worse condition and more frail than anticipated. When we took up the timber decking and exposed the cast iron cross girders we found substantial corrosion and many more sections needing to be cut out and replaced than predicted.

"This means that we have had to extend the contractors programme to cope with the additional repairs. However, our contractor is working flat out to ensure completion by the end of the year."
Reacting to the news, Wandsworth's transport spokesman Cllr Russell King said: "This is very disappointing news for residents and traders on the Battersea side of the river who were looking forward to the bridge reopening next month.

"It is absolutely vital that these important works are now concluded as quickly as possible so that residents and businesses can get back to normal."

August 14, 2011