A lane closure has been introduced on Shaldon Bridge as a precautionary safety measure.
It follows a routine inspection by our bridge engineers yesterday (Thursday 10 November) which discovered scour (erosion) of several piers supporting the Grade Two Listed structure. This in itself isn’t a concern, provided the piles that are contained within the large columns are either reinforced concrete, as shown on the bridge drawings, or timber ones in good condition. However, this is yet to be ascertained.
Temporary traffic lights will remain in place on the bridge to reduce the load caused by traffic while further dive inspections are carried out to establish the extent of the damage.
Once their investigations are complete repairs will be undertaken on the affected piers.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said:
“Public safety is always our primary concern and our bridge engineers have rightly taken immediate action to close one lane on the bridge as a precautionary measure. Routine inspections are carried out for exactly this reason.
“At this stage it’s too early to say how long the lane closure may be in place or how long repairs may take, but we will ensure we provide an update as soon as we know. I would urge everyone to bear with us. I accept that the lane closure is an inconvenience but it’s necessary that it’s in place while our teams confirm exactly what they’re dealing with.”
Councillor Alistair Dewhirst, County Councillor representing Shaldon, said:
“This news comes as a blow to residents and traders in Shaldon who were expecting a busy Christmas holiday season. I have every confidence that our Devon Bridge Engineers will seek to rectify the issue as soon as possible and seek to maintain the safety of all the bridge users – we are all aware that there have been major issues in the recent past that were quickly resolved. Naturally, I will be liaising with the Parish Council and our Bridge team to ensure that the disruption is minimised.”
Councillor David Cox, County Councillor for Teignmouth, said:
“This is very disappointing news, but the safety of the public must always come first.”
Two other piers on the structure were repaired in 2019, with concrete poured around the defective piers when similar damage was discovered.