Extra repairs and inspections scheduled during Torridge Bridge refurbishment
Posted on: 12 February 2018
Additional repairs and inspections will be needed at Torridge Bridge, near Bideford, and are to be co-ordinated with current ongoing refurbishment.
While work continues to replace a damaged expansion joint on the bridge, Devon County Council has now found that cover plates, allowing access to the abutment chamber, need replacing as well.
The authority has also commissioned work to examine and test the tensioned steel cables inside the concrete deck of the structure, in order to minimise disruption. This survey work will be carried out from Thursday 22 February until Thursday 8 March, and then from Monday 19 March to Thursday 29 March.
The bridge deck will need to be excavated, and a specialist truck-mounted access platform will have to be parked on the bridge to enable engineers to access the underside of the bridge deck. To enable the inspections and repairs to take place at the same time, an additional length of traffic management will be required.
To reduce the impact of extending the length of lane closure, the inspection and testing will be restricted to 10pm until 6am and the temporary lights will be manually controlled during these hours to reduce waiting times.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “It makes sense for these additional repairs and investigative work to be carried out while temporary lights are already in place on the bridge. The inspection of the condition of the steel cables is vital as it will ensure the bridge is capable of continuing to carry heavy traffic in future years.”
Councillor Linda Hellyer, County Councillor for Bideford East, said: “Safety is of paramount importance so I’m sure everyone will appreciate that Torridge Bridge is having a thorough overhaul. It is excellent news that this essential maintenance work is going to be carried out at night, in line with the current works on the bridge. This, and the fact that the traffic lights will be manually operated, will minimise disruption to the travelling public.”
Councillor Andrew Eastman, County Councillor for Northam, said: “Regular commuters must be thanked for their patience while this work is carried out. In the long term it will prove to be worthwhile as it will be more than capable of carrying heavy traffic for years and years to come. Long may it continue to serve us.”
As part of the refurbishment of Torridge Bridge, two overnight closures will be needed in the coming weeks in order to complete the installation of the east bound expansion joint and to change over traffic management. The closures will be from 7pm to 6pm on both Tuesday 20 February and Wednesday 7 March.
A signed diversion will be in place via the Bideford Long Bridge, with a separate diversion in place for HGVs down to Torrington.
Outside of the two closures, temporary traffic lights will remain in use from 7pm to 7am. Both lanes of the bridge will be open during the daytime and a precautionary 20mph speed restriction will remain in place at all times.
As a result of the extra work, the scheme is now scheduled to finish on Thursday 12 April. However, the bridge will remain open during the Easter break under the 20mph speed restriction, with no work on top of the bridge planned at night during the holidays.
Posted in: Environment