Contractors have been appointed to carry out essential repairs to the defective piers at Rock Park Bridge in Barnstaple.
Devon County Council has appointed Dyer & Butler as its main contractor for the scheme.
They plan to use a combination of sub-contractors, including a local Devon-based marine specialist and internationally recognised experts in bridge rehabilitation, as well as their own in-house teams to undertake the restoration of the structure.
The 133-year-old former railway bridge was closed a year ago for safety reasons after a routine underwater inspection found structural defects to two supporting columns in the river channel.
The scheme being prepared by Dyer & Butler will involve assessing these structural defects to help decide on the measures needed to make the bridge safe in order to carry out permanent repair to the piers.
The repair itself will involve encapsulating the defects to restore the piers to their full capacity.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for bridges, said: “The contractors have a challenging task ahead but they will be making use of the best skills available from specialists and within their own team to safely carry out this repair scheme. The aim is to re-open the bridge later this year but as with any work involving underwater elements, there can be complications, so it’s difficult to give precise timescales at the moment. Every effort will be made to safely restore Rock Park Bridge as soon as possible.”
Councillor Caroline Leaver, Devon County Councillor for Barnstaple South, said: “I’m extremely pleased that progress is being made on this as it’s part of the strategic national cycle network and a massively important pedestrian link for people of all ages. Many residents have told me how much they’ve missed this link being open and they’re looking forward to it re-opening.”
A signed diversion for pedestrians and cyclists remains in place via Barnstaple Long Bridge.
For more information visit our scheme webpages.