Extensive repairs planned for Rock Park Bridge
Posted on: 16 October 2020
Major structural repairs are needed on Rock Park Bridge in Barnstaple before it can re-open to the public, Devon County Council has confirmed.
The 133-year-old former railway bridge was closed in May this year for safety reasons after a routine underwater inspection found structural defects to the two supporting wrought iron columns in the river channel.
Following extensive survey work and assessment of repair options, the two defective piers will need to be removed, along with two affected spans. They will be replaced with a new single 60-metre span while the other three spans of the bridge will remain unchanged.
As the bridge design is still being developed, the County Council can’t provide a definitive timescale on the repair scheme as yet, but early estimates suggest it will be at least 12 months.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for bridges, said: “Public safety is our paramount concern for people using this structure, but we also have to ensure that repairs can be carried out safely. We have sought advice from a number of specialist contractors to assess the best options for repairing the bridge. It’s a complex project so it will take time for the scheme design to be fully developed before we can appoint a contractor. While we appreciate it is an inconvenience, we hope everyone will bear with us until we can get the bridge open safely again.”
Councillor John Mathews, Devon County Councillor for Barnstaple South, said: “I am pleased we are able to save this historic bridge. It’s an iconic structure which is part of Barnstaple’s heritage and is well thought of by local people. The replacement span will ensure many years of service on this busy route and, of course, it will form an important part of Barnstaple’s growing cycle network.”
A signed diversion for pedestrians and cyclists remains in place via Barnstaple Long Bridge.
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