Albert Bridge, Belfast

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A view of Albert Bridge facing towards the shipyards, 2006

The Albert Bridge is a bridge in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Its three flat arches span the River Lagan and it is one of eight bridges in the city. It was completed in 1890 by Belfast city surveyor J C Bretland [1] after two arches of the previous bridge suddenly collapsed in 1886. It is located close to the city centre between East Bridge Street and the Albert Bridge Road.

History[edit]

In 1886, two arches of the original five span masonry bridge on the site collapsed,[2] causing a single fatality. A temporary wooden bridge was erected until the present day when the bridge was built. The present bridge was designed by Mr J. C. Bretland, the Borough Surveyor of Belfast at the time, and was constructed by Messrs Henry of Belfast on behalf of Belfast Corporation, at a cost of £36,500. All of the cast iron including the decorative lampposts were made in Derby by Andrew Handyside & Co. It was opened in 1890 and named after Queen Victoria's grandson, Prince Albert Victor, who laid a foundation stone in 1889.[3]

Restoration[edit]

In 1998 the first phase of work on the bridge was carried out by Roads Service, involving replacing, strengthening and waterproofing the concrete bridge deck. The second phase replaced corroded wrought iron structural members supporting the bridge deck with new structural steel members. The final phase, in autumn 2001, involved the removal of existing paint and rust and application of a new paint system for corrosion protection, which should ensure no repainting will be needed for the next 15 years. Floodlighting was also being installed. Total cost of restoration was about £1 million.[3]

The original drawings and sketches of the bridge from 1888 had been passed to Roads Service from Belfast Corporation at the time of Local Government reorganisation in 1973. The drawings were used for information on the works connected with the bridge and passed to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in 2001.[3]


Next crossing upstream River Lagan Next crossing downstream
Ormeau Bridge  Albert Bridge Lagan Viaduct 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Central Belfast, A Historical Gazetteer, Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, 1993, p4
  2. ^ Barry, Michael (1985). Across Deep Waters. Bridges of Ireland. Frankfort Press, Dublin. p. 118.
  3. ^ a b c "Campbell hands over original Albert Bridge Drawings". Department for Regional Development News Release. 20 September 2001. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007.

Coordinates: 54°35′44.52″N 5°54′49.52″W / 54.5957000°N 5.9137556°W / 54.5957000; -5.9137556