Westminster Bridge, a Grade II listed structure historically known as Westminster Bridge TO2, is a road traffic (A302) and footbridge crossing the River Thames in an east-west direction in central London. The structure links between Palace of Westminster and the Westminster Pier to the west and old County Hall buildings and London Eye to the east. The current structure is a seven-span wrought iron construction designed by Thomas Page and opened to traffic in 1862.
The bridge has an overall length of 250m with the second span spanning 35m.
Each span comprises 15 arched ribs. The ribs consist of a central wrought iron section connected to the cast iron ribs at the spandrel zone. The ribs connect into piers forming a continuous span. Strengthening and refurbishment of the deck was undertaken in 1997 by providing a composite deck of lightweight concrete above buckle plates spanning between the ribs.
In 2007, the fascia of the bridge was fully replaced. The new fascia panels are supported on a new steel fascia support channel that is self-supporting and fixed at the pier with lateral restraint provided by steel ties fixed to the main rib. The river cruise vessel ‘Millennium Tide’ collided with Westminster Bridge in April 2012. The boat struck the bridge on the Northern (Downstream) Elevation at span 2. the maintaining agent at the time of the collision, carried out a special inspection to assess the damage.
Bridge refurbishment Specialists HS Carlsteel Engineering Ltd were contracted by CVU having previous experience of the structure and the Cast Iron fascias in particular to undertake the repair and replacement works.
The fascia units were manufactured from as built drawings provided by CVU in addition to wooden templates which were stored by TFL for future use. HS Carlsteel`s supply chain partners Fowler and Holden in Grimsby, undertook the pattern making and manufacture of the new cornices and panels. The new fascia panels are supported on a steel fascia support channel that is self-supporting and fixed at the pier with lateral restraint provided by steel ties fixed to the main rib. The new fascias were installed utilising a bespoke lifting frame located on the footpath above.