Tuesday 17 Feb 2009


Region & Route:
Southern: Wessex
| Southern

One of London’s landmark bridges is to get a £3m makeover, courtesy of Network Rail. Barnes Bridge, in the London Borough of Richmond, will be refurbished starting next month.

The refurbishment will see 16,000 square metres of wrought iron trusses and arches on the grade II listed bridge being cleaned, stripped down to the bare metal and re-painted in two tones of grey. In addition, work will also be undertaken to remove algae and replace corroded metal and damaged brickwork. The work is expected to commence at the end of March 2009, and is expected to be completed early in 2010.

Richard O’Brien, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “Barnes Bridge is an important river crossing for one of our busiest commuter services, with a history going back to the 1840s. This bridge is a source of pride for Network Rail, so we have planned the work to reflect the bridge’s importance to the community, both as a river crossing and a local landmark. We hope the long-term positives of this scheme will outweigh any short-term disruption while we undertake these vital improvement works.”

Much of the work will be done during the day, but in order to keep rail services running, some trackside elements will need to be carried out at night. It will also be necessary to close the footpath across the bridge for up to six weeks at a time during different periods of the work. Network Rail has been working with Richmond Council’s environmental health officer to help minimise disruption for residents and businesses during the works. Network Rail will provide advance notification about planned footpath closures and will be communicating directly with the community about the project. The refurbishment works have been staggered in order for the Thames to remain open to river traffic throughout.

Notes to editors

The wrought iron bridge structure was constructed by Joseph Locke in 1891, replacing the original cast iron bridge which was built in the 1840s. It was last painted in the early 1970s. It is fairly unusual in that there are very few railway bridges over the River Thames which also incorporate pedestrian footpaths. In years gone by, tickets were sold to spectators who used Barnes Bridge as a vantage point to watch the University boat race, as it sits within the final mile of the course.

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