I have been hearing that contractor’s staff – now working on the repair and strengthening of Cleveland Bridge – have had to face abuse from some motorists who apparently can’t read.
Drivers who have not been able to understand the meaning of the ‘Road Closed’ signs leading up to this Grade 2 * listed structure which has spanned the River Avon for nearly 200 years.
Those who do try and sneak over the bridge – out of hours – should know that CCTV cameras are now in position.
Originally built for pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages, Cleveland Bridge now normally carries around 17 000 vehicles a day, including coaches and heavy goods lorries weighing up to 44 tonnes.
However – according to the B&NES website:
“Surveys have identified that structural components of the bridge need to be maintained, repaired or replaced, for it to continue to function safely.
The proposed refurbishment works would ensure the structural safety and integrity of the bridge, and would also preserve the heritage value of this listed structure.”
Which means the council have a legal duty to preserve it.
It’s also a polite way of pointing out the bridge is now closed for at least 12 weeks – and motorists have to find another way around town – while four million pounds is spent on repairs.
My thanks to sculptor Peter Hayes and his wife Joan for letting me step down through their working studio to take some shots of the amazing scaffolding frame that has been put up under the bridge to enable work to get underway.
Pedestrians and bicycles – by the way – are still able to cross the bridge.
You may not be able to see it but work is most definitely underway beneath your feet.