I have received this information from Cllr Baxter.
My specialist repairer, Grahame, and I went to do a detailed inspection of the Bridge Street Bridge on the 6th July, to ascertain the level of repair required to reopen.
Grahame found several areas of rot within the main, load-bearing beams. However, these are very large hardwood beams and the rot has not gone right through.
There was also rot in the hand-rails and side stanchions. The wood has also split around a number of the bolt holes.
There is also rot within the surface planks. All of this makes the bridge currently unsafe and unusable.
However, despite its poor state, Grahame is confident that he can carry out sufficient repairs to give this structure another 5 years or so lifespan, until it needs further inspection and repair/replacement.
This will include:
- Replacement of secondary supports
- Replacement of side stanchions which have rotted and split. Addition of metal bracket where required.
- Reconfiguration and installation of supporting beams.
- Relay surface planks crossways (not longways as at the moment), using ‘anti-slip’ boards to make it safer for foot traffic when wet. This will negate the need it future for roofing felt, which will let the wood air out and naturally dry out, helping to prevent further rot.
Cost: and initial estimate from Grahame is that materials will cost approx. £500 -£600. His time on top of that, not known.
Timescales: With Grahame’s heavy workload currently, he proposes starting the repairs late July/early August.
Resources/staffing: Grahame cannot carry out this work alone, due to the nature of the area – working at heights and near water. I will try to offer my help where possible. Otherwise we will have to provide a GM Specialist to assist him, and this may mean being carried out outside of the normal working week for availability of staff. There may also be a need for some specialist fittings and equipment to purchase.
I hope this gives you a full picture of the project, about the continued closure.”