Residents celebrate Royal Albert Bridge refurbishment

July 15 2015  

Residents celebrate Royal Albert Bridge refurbishment
Successful refurbishment of the Grade I listed Royal Albert Bridge has been celebrated by 400 members of the public who enjoyed a rare chance to walk across the iconic railway structure on Sunday.
Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the 156 year old bridge carries rail passengers between Cornwall and the rest of Britain across the River Tamar near Plymouth. The walk marked the completion of a five year Network Rail project to return the bridge to its former glory.
Aecom was the designer for the refurbishment, which involved strengthening, restoration and repainting, and Taziker Industrial was the contractor.
Works included cleaning the structure by grit blasting the metalwork before a total area of 20,000m² was repainted. Meanwhile worn out structural components were repaired and replaced, including all the hangers and track girders.
The walk – organised by Network Rail, the Saltash Rail Users’ Group and the Ashtorre Rock charity – allowed local residents to view its scale and intricate design close up.
Tim Maddocks of Network Rail said: “This is a significant moment in the bridge’s history and followed years of work to turn it back into the structure that Brunel himself would have experienced over 150 years ago.
“This iconic bridge has been part of the local community for all these years and so it seemed only right that we shared this moment with them by giving residents the opportunity to walk in Brunel’s shoes.”
He added that the project was a huge undertaking which was made even more complicated by the need to work around the weather, which prevented access to the structure on 37 occasions throughout the refurbishment.
(Photo: Network Rail)

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