After two years out of action for major works
Engineers working for the neighbouring borough of Kensington & Chelsea have announced that Albert Bridge will reopen at the beginning of December, after repairs that have lasted nearly two years.
The bridge will reopen to vehicle traffic on Friday, December 2, following major strengthening and refurbishment work.
The announcement has been welcomed by Wandsworth's transport spokesman Cllr Russell King who said the return to normality would be a boost for hard-pressed businesses in the area.
He said: "The closure has had an undeniable effect on businesses in the area, many of which have suffered a loss of trade. They will be mightily relieved that the disruption is coming to an end."
He added that the reopening was also likely to relieve traffic congestion along Battersea Park Road.
The bridge was originally due to reopen in September but the repairs took longer than originally thought because of worse than expected corrosion and damage to the Victorian structure.
When Kensington and Chelsea's engineers took up the timber decking and exposed its cast iron girders they found substantial corrosion and many more sections needing to be cut out and replaced than had been anticipated.
Repairs to the picturesque bridge, which first opened in 1873, involved more than 10,000 new bolts, 40,000 litres of paint and 1,000 tonnes of grit which was used to blast off the old paintwork.
The bridge is owned, managed and maintained by The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
November 24, 2011