Following the recent planned inspection of the Union Street bridge (the swingbridge) works, there are some additional structural strengthening and investigations works that we have identified as the work has progressed (further details below).
This therefore needs further attention over the coming weeks, requiring an extension of the temporary closure of the bridge to vehicles. The bridge will remain closed to vehicles until at least 21st December. Therefore, existing traffic diversions will remain in place until at least this date. We will inform you of the likely date for the re-opening to vehicular traffic as soon as we have fully identified all necessary structural repairs required.
The pedestrian walkways continue to be open and will remain open.
We apologise for any inconvenience the closure causes and have been working hard to ensure the work is fully complete as quickly as possible to avoid the need for any further closures. As well as to the seafront, the bridge also provides important access to local businesses, the cargo terminal and current marina, and so is an important asset to maintain for our community in the longer term.
Delays have occurred for the following reasons:
- A week delay materialised following the discovery of suspected asbestos material in the ballast box after the deck panel was removed on 8th October. Asbestos testing was undertaken and results came back negative.
- Whilst removing the huge 200 tonne ballast for the first time, its size and shape created significant challenges which could not be identified until the work started. An array of different pieces of metal and plates ranging from 50kg to 6 tonne were found, so it took longer than anticipated to completely remove safely, this added a delay of 2 ½ weeks.
Now that all the ballast has been removed, the next steps are to remove all the paint, clean the steelwork and identify required steelwork repairs. This will happen over the next two weeks and beyond that we will be able to clarify the programme for the required repairs and inform you of the exact date for re-opening the bridge structure.
Once again, we apologise for any disruption caused and thank you for your patience and cooperation while this important project is delivered.