As many readers will be aware the Twin Sails Bridge became stuck in the upright position after a second technical fault occurred on the Hamworthy side of the structure in early August.
The Bridge had been operating on one lifting ram after the removal of the bearing and large pin earlier this year. Council sources claim a new pin is currently being manufactured and is due to be fitted this autumn.
Julian McLaughlin, Director for Growth & Infrastructure, said: “We have a duty to maintain and protect the structure of the bridge.”
Following a noise coming from the remaining lifting ram that was heard over the first weekend of August, engineers decided there was serious risk of longer term damage to Twin Sails if it was kept in operation. To allow marine traffic to continue to use the channel the bridge, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council have said the bridge needs to remain in the upright position until repair.
McLaughlin commented that: “The current situation is most unfortunate but with two faults on the same side of the bridge we have no choice but to halt its operation until repaired.
“Effort is being made with third parties to bring the bridge back into service as soon as possible.”
As well as the inconvenience of the bridge itself, the traffic lights at Blandford Road and Rigler Road in Hamworthy have been changed north to south to help manage traffic flows in the area until Twin Sails is back in service, with the BCP Council advising road users to take extra care when approaching these lights due to the priority change.
Councillor Andy Hadley, portfolio holder for Transport and Infrastructure, said: “Whilst this will inconvenience and frustrate many people (including myself), I am confident that the engineers are doing everything possible to fix the issue and ensure Twin Sails is not further damaged, and is safe to use.”
BH Living contacted the council to try to obtain a more precise date for the reopening of the bridge however they commented that at this stage they are unable to give a more specific time frame than the one already published. They went on to say: “We will continue to issue updates through our channels.”
In the meantime, Poole Bridge is operational and open to all road users.
For more information and the full report from the BCP Council click here.