A programme of works to repair the Cleveland Bridge in Bath is to continue with the removal of the damaged concrete trusses that support the deck, and a temporary footway is to be laid on the west side. On the opposite side of the bridge, the heritage kerbs and drainage have been removed.
Somerset Live reports that the work on the Grade II* listed structure, which carries 17,000 vehicles a day, is needed to safeguard its future, and that after further damage was revealed, the bridge will need to be closed to emergency service vehicles during certain dates for the essential repairs.
Engineers conducted a detailed inspection of the structure, and food that the extent of the damage is worse than what had been previously identified, and not the programme of repairs has been assessed to determine how the works will be carried out.
The works include structural repairs that will require extreme care, and only a limited number of the repairs can be carried out at any one time.
There are a series of repairs scheduled to take place from August 9 to August 23 and from September 13 to September 16 that will mean the bridge will need to be closed to emergency vehicles. Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to use the bridge, but cyclists will need to dismount.
Since the bridge first closed to vehicles and at all other times apart from between the dates for works listed, there had been access for pedestrians, cyclists, and emergency service vehicles.
Councillor Manda Rigby, the cabinet member for Transport, said: “We cannot stress enough that repairing and protecting this Grade II* listed structure is an enormous task requiring the greatest care and careful planning.”
She explained that the council has identified two periods in August and September where there will be little choice but to close the bridge to emergency vehicles so that certain repairs can be carried out safely, but there will still be accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.
She added that the council had been in contact with the emergency services, and assessments of alternative routes and for the option of storing vehicles elsewhere during the repairs if needed.
“Our project team and contractor are working hard and are reviewing options to maintain our original three-month closure programme and, as always, we are grateful for people’s patience with the disruption caused,” Cllr Rigby concluded.
Diversion routes for Bath city centre and through traffic on the A36 via South Gloucestershire are available on the council’s Cleveland Bridge website.
The £3.8 million project, funded through the Government’s Highways Challenge Fund, began in May with traffic filtered over the river crossing by temporary traffic lights as scaffolding was erected.
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