Speed restriction imposed on viaduct near Bideford on safety grounds

Kenwith ViaductKenwith Viaduct

Posted on: 12 July 2016

Devon County Council has implemented a temporary speed limit on the Kenwith Viaduct on the A39 near Bideford.

The restriction is a safety measure after a routine inspection by County Council engineers discovered several cracks in the bridge expansion joint, at the Bideford end of the structure.

The steel beam component at the ends of the bridge enables the structure to move. Reducing traffic speeds will reduce the force on the joint until it can be replaced.

It will cost around £500,000 to replace the joint, which Devon has set aside as part of its county-wide programme of joint replacements.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “It will take several months for our engineers to design and purchase the replacement joint and the speed restriction is required to safeguard highway users. I would ask everyone who uses this busy road to bear with us and abide by the speed limits which will only add a few moments to their journey.”

Councillor Robin Julian, Devon County Councillor for Bideford South and Hartland, said: “The speed limit will ensure the bridge remains safe to use and will need to stay in place until further notice.”

Councillor Andrew Eastman, Devon County Councillor for Northam, said: “It is imperative that speed restrictions must be adhered to. All traffic must respect the Highway Authority’s request to reduce speed as this is a serious matter not only for drivers but also as a safety issue as well.”

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