24 Jul Royal Albert Bridge Plymouth
The Royal Albert Bridge is single track railway bridge designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel spanning over the River Tamar between Plymouth on the Devon side and Saltash on the Cornwall side. Brunel was one of the most versatile and audacious engineers of the 19th century, responsible for the design of tunnels, bridges, railway lines and ships.
The Tamar Bridge is a road bridge which is conveniently located alongside the railway bridge where I am photographing specialist structural engineers abseiling down the bridge. These guys are carrying out a structural appraisal of the bridge structure which is carried out annually and a major inspection every five years. I am photographing for the Consulting Engineers Owen Williams and the headline shot above made it on to the front cover of Construction News and Contracts Journal. These shots are particularly timely because it is the 200th anniversary of the birth of I. K. Brunel.
<em>Update: Just a minor factoid! Just after these photographs were taken the gantry in front of the I K BRUNEL name plate on the bridge abutment was removed. Whether this was part of the 200 years celebration I do not know, so know life is just that little bit more difficult for today’s engineers to inspect the very fine historic structure.</em>