Work to install a temporary bridge over Martinhoe Bridge in North Devon will start next week (Monday 1 August) to enable the road to re-open as soon as possible.
Martinhoe Bridge, located near the Hunters Inn on Exmoor, was closed for safety reasons earlier this month after a routine inspection by our bridges team found serious structural defects.
From Monday, a 90-tonne crane will lift two 24-metre long bridge planks into position across the existing bridge deck.
The temporary structure will ensure the road can re-open to traffic, with a 15mph speed restriction imposed, while we develop a future replacement or strengthening scheme.
Before the temporary road bridge can be transported to site, the nearby Trentishoe Bridge requires protective work to increase its structural capacity to allow the heavy vehicles to pass. Work to thicken the road surface over Trentishoe Bridge will be carried out today Friday (29 July).
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said:
“The installation of this temporary bridge will ensure that the local community aren’t inconvenienced any further while a future scheme is developed for Martinhoe Bridge. The road is a key route in and out of the Hedden Valley so I’m sure everyone will be pleased to see it re-opened.”
Councillor Andrea Davis, County Councillor for Combe Martin Rural, said:
“A lot of work is going into installing this temporary bridge, with a lot of planning and logistics involved in getting it to site in the first place. I can assure everyone in the local community that the County Council’s bridges team is working flat out to reopen the road as swiftly as possible.”
The installation work, which will be carried out by Mac Plant Ltd on our behalf, is weather dependent. However, the bridge is expected be re-open to the public at some point during the week commencing Monday 8 August.
Until then, a signed diversion remains in place. Road users are advised to allow additional time for their journeys.