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Kingston Bridge, London
River Thames, Kingston upon Thames, London, UK
associated engineer
Edward Lapidge
date  7th November 1825 - 17th July 1828, 1912 - 1914
era  Georgian  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  TQ176694
ICE reference number  HEW 2347
Kingston Bridge crosses the River Thames in London and connects the areas of Kingston and Hampton Wick. It replaces an earlier timber structure on this site. The masonry bridge is faced with Portland stone and has five river spans, all elliptical arches.
Kingston Bridge is 116.4m long and was originally 8.2m wide. The central arch has a span of 18.3m and is 5.8m high, flanked by arches of 17.1m and 15.8m span, with smaller arches either side.
The bridge was designed by Edward Lapidge, County Surveyor of Surrey. His drawings were approved by Thomas Telford, which led to the Exchequer Loan Commissioners advancing a loan of £40,000 for the construction. The contractor was Mr Herbert.
The Earl of Liverpool laid the first stone on 7th November 1825. Kingston Bridge was opened by HRH the Duchess of Clarence on 17th July 1828.
On 12th March 1870, the bridge was made toll free, an event that was celebrated with a firework display and the burning of the toll booths.
Between 1912 and 1914, the bridge was widened to 16.8m. It was given new Portland stone façades to match the original design, including cornices and balustraded parapets with semi-circular cutwaters. Above the springings there is a small gap between the 1914 and 1828 structures that can be seen only from the river.
In 1951, Kingston Bridge was Grade II* listed. It has been owned and maintained by the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames since 1986.
In 1993, Travers Morgan consulting engineers carried out a load assessment on the bridge, which resulted in vehicles over 38 tonnes being prohibited from crossing. A regular inspection and monitoring programme was set up.
Between 1997 and 2000, the bridge was widened again to accommodate wider pavements, two bicycle lanes and a bus lane. The widening took place on the upstream side of the bridge, giving a total width of 24.1m.
The new reinforced concrete piers are faced with Portland Stone. They are founded on reinforced concrete pile caps, above 600mm diameter bored cast in-situ reinforced concrete piles with a 2m diameter mass concrete sleeve at river bed level.
The arch spans are constructed from 12 precast concrete units per span, which lessened disruption to river traffic. Lightweight materials were used to minimise foundation loading and thus reduce eventual settlement. The precast units are faced to match the existing bridge finishes.
Main contractor: Mr Herbert
Widening works (1997-200): M.J. Gleeson Group plc
Research: ECPK
reference sources   CEH Lond

Kingston Bridge, London