It was too good to be true.
I interviewed Cllr Manda Rigby – Cabinet member for Transport – just recently and was given the end of this month for a partial re-opening of the beleaguered Cleveland Bridge. Now it’s put back to some time in October.
B&NES is now saying that, given further investigations, there is a need for some temporary supports, and these supports need to be designed, approved, and independently checked before being submitted to the Highways Authority for approval. This is safety critical and pushes back the original end-of-September date for re-opening.
Initially only pedestrians, cyclists, and cars under traffic light control, will be able to use the bridge when it re-opens in October until the repairs are fully completed.
Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for Transport said: “This is a complex project and our project team is working closely with the contractor to keep the delay to as short a time as is possible. We apologise for the delay to our target re-opening but as we all know safety has to come first. It was not possible to anticipate the need for these particular supports until the concrete had been fully removed, and we will always keep you informed of any change in anticipated reopening.”
Work on the £3.8 million project to repair and safeguard the Grade II* listed structure began in May under temporary traffic signals before the bridge was closed to all vehicle traffic on 28 June.
The extent of the works include repairs to the bridge deck and concrete supporting structure, along with repainting of the cast iron arches and parapets and waterproofing to prevent future weather damage.
Diversion routes for Bath city centre and through traffic on the A36 via South Gloucestershire are available on the council’s Cleveland Bridge webpage.
The project is funded through the Government’s Highways Challenge Fund. Updates to the programme timeline will be posted on www.bathnes.gov.uk/clevelandbridge as work goes on. You can also read our regular progress updates on https://medium.com/cleveland-bridge-renovation