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A Decade Of Dirt : Cleaning Tower Bridge, London

Night owls passing by Tower Bridge have been met with an unusual sight as the iconic landmark was subjected to some ‘extreme window cleaning’.

When approached by the bridge owner City Bridge Foundation, we were able to assess and complete a well needed clean by abseiling from the structure’s twin high-level walkways to clean the underside of the glass floors and surrounding metal work.

It’s the first time the exposed underside of the glass floors have been cleaned since the spectacular feature, which provides an essential photo-op for visitors brave enough to tread on it, was installed a decade ago.

The work was carried out in the early hours of Wednesday morning, during the bridge’s latest series of quarterly overnight closures for maintenance.

Giles Shilson, City Bridge Foundation chairman, said: “Like any windows subject to London’s weather, the glass floors need an occasional scrub to keep them spick and span."
“The only practical and safe way to do the job was to call in a specialist firm experienced in working at height and in hard-to-reach spaces.
“The work made for a spectacular sight for anyone who happened to be passing past the bridge in the early hours of the morning.”

Our specialist technicians performed a professional clean of the glass and surrounding metalwork using high-pressure water jets, specialised cleaning solutions, finishing cloths and a liberal amount of elbow grease. Our crews also hauled up a specialist access platform to provide extra support and stability as they carried out their work, suspended 42m above the dark and icy waters of the River Thames.

The glass floors are comprised of four layers, the uppermost of which, scuffed by hundreds of thousands of footsteps every year, is regularly replaced to ensure a good view. They can hold the weight of four black cabs or six elephants.

Tower Bridge is one of five owned and maintained by City Bridge Foundation – a 900-year-old charity – at no cost to the taxpayer.

See the BBC's coverage of the clean here:


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