London's Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge restored to true colours

Tower Bridge is one of London’s best-known landmarks. But years of exposure to the harsh city environment meant that the bridge needed a facelift – and Hempel coatings made sure the bridge retains its iconic looks for at least the next 25 years.

Built in 1894, Tower Bridge can be seen in Hollywood films, tourist brochures and picture postcards. But after years of exposure to the elements, the bridge lost its sheen – so a four-year renovation project costing £4 million started in 2008, using 22,000 litres of Hempel paints to ensure the bridge keeps its iconic blue and white colours for the next quarter of a century.

Restoration without disrupting traffic

The Bridge is a vital part of London’s transport system, with around 40,000 motorists and pedestrians using Tower Bridge each day. In order to cause as little disruption as possible, the work was completed in sections, with a quarter of the bridge under scaffolding at a time.

Protecting the environment

For this project, around 1,500 tonnes of abrasive material was used to blast away old paint and reveal the original metal framework underneath. To protect the River Thames and the immediate environment, the bridge sections were fully shrouded and the debris was collected and safely disposed of.

Long-lasting protection

Hempel UK supplied a state-of-the-art high-performance coating system that will protect Tower Bridge for at least 25 years. A variety of coatings were used on different areas and sub-structures, and the coating system will be touched-up after 12 years.

Pyeroy Ltd. carried out the restoration project on behalf of the City Bridge Trust, which maintains all five city bridges (London, Tower, Southwark, Blackfriars and Millennium Bridges) at no cost to the British taxpayer. Hempel UK also supplied Pyeroy with 13,000 litres of protective coatings for the £2.5 million facelift of Southwark Bridge.

The project in numbers

40,000: Number of people who cross the bridge each day

22,000 Litres: amount of Hempel coatings that will protect the bridge

4 million pounds: Total cost of the project