Albert Bridge, Belfast, Ireland
The Albert Bridge is a bridge in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It spans the River Lagan and is one of eight bridges in the city. It was completed in 1890 by Belfast city surveyor J C Bretland 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.
In 1886, the first bridge ever built on the Albert Bridge site collapsed, causing a single fatality. A temporary wooden bridge was erected until the present day 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. It was opened in 1890 and named after Queen Victoria’s grandson, Prince Albert Victor, who laid a foundation stone in 1889.
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.
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.