Preliminary design work continues on new bridge planned for Sidmouth

Alma BridgeAlma Bridge

Posted on: 1 July 2016

Work on preliminary designs for a new bridge further inland from Alma Bridge in Sidmouth is continuing, Devon County Council has confirmed.

Following the recent launch of East Devon District Council’s Beach Management Plan consultation on options to manage coastal and flood defences for Sidmouth seafront and East Beach, the County Council has repeated its commitment to getting the scheme for a new bridge shovel-ready.

Initial discussions have been held with Sidmouth Town Council, East Devon District Council, South West Water, and the Environment Agency on the proposals for a new bridge to cross the mouth of the River Sid.

The County Council remains committed to maintaining a link to the coast path, and the authority is carrying out detailed surveys and geotechnical work to see if the Hanger Path, on the east side of the river, can be re-routed so that it isn’t threatened by the ongoing East Cliff erosion.

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Cllr Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management and Flood Prevention, and local County Councillor for Sidmouth, said: “We are continuing with the preliminary design work on this new bridge scheme but it’s still in its early stages and costs have not yet been estimated. Depending on the final location of a new bridge, additional funding may be required for the associated ramp structures and we are working with all interested parties to secure funding for possible upstream options. This could incorporate a ramp structure on the western side of the river that would also enhance flood protection for Sidmouth Eastern Town.”

Weekly inspections of the existing temporary bridge are ongoing to ensure it is safe to cross.

If safety concerns are raised over the bridge, it will be closed and the footbridge at Mill Street, which is 350 metres upstream, will be used as an interim alternative.

Devon County Council will continue to consider whether the bridge could be constructed in advance of the preferred BMP scheme, which could help minimise the duration of a temporary inland diversion of the South West Coast Path.

Posted in: DCC Homepage | Environment