We’re going to have to wait until mid-January for an update on how work is progressing on the multi-million-pound repair programme involving Cleveland Bridge. In the meantime, a further inspection has found many more parts need attention.
Engineering work on the listed structure will continue in the run-up to Christmas and resume on January 4.
The bridge will remain closed to HGVs but will continue to be open for vehicles under two metres in width under traffic signals.
Since temporary supports were installed at the end of October crucial sections of the bridge trusses have been repaired, however, repairs on a fourth truss are more extensive and work is ongoing.
Another temporary platform has been erected under the bridge deck on downstream side of the river allowing for more detailed inspection of the bridge. It has resulted in the identification of a further 28 repairs in addition to 21 already accounted for. Investigation work is also underway on up streamside of the structure.
Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for Transport said: “Engineers are looking at all options to progress the repairs as safely and quickly as possible but at this stage we are unable to confirm when the bridge will be fully opened. This is because the concrete repairs on the bridge are much more extensive than previously identified in the initial surveys carried out by rope access. We anticipate that by mid-January we will have a better picture about the timescale for full reopening. In the meantime, the bridge remains closed to HGVs but will continue to be open for vehicles under two metres in width – and we thank people for their patience.”
Pedestrians, cyclists and cars can use the bridge and an exception has been made for emergency vehicles, which will be able to access the bridge via a gate specifically for their use.
Diversion routes for all other vehicles and through traffic on the A36 via South Gloucestershire are available on the council’s Cleveland Bridge webpage: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/cleveland-bridge-renovation-project/information-coaches-and-heavy-goods-vehicles .
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.
The project is funded through the Government’s Highways Challenge Fund. Updates to the programme timeline will be posted on www.bathnes.gov.uk/clevelandbridgeas work goes on. You can also read our progress updates on https://medium.com/cleveland-bridge-renovation