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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

WORK FINALLY BEGINS TO REPAIR KINGSWESTON IRON BRIDGE


A sign still attached to the scaffolding on Kingsweston Iron Bridge on Monday afternoon read ‘5 years no repair. Why BCC?’


That sign itself has been in place for three years, with the bridge being closed since 2015 following several trucks hitting the historic structure, making it unstable and unsafe.


But now repairs have finally started on the Grade II listed cast iron footbridg, with a platform being built underneath the span to allow workers to access to its underbelly.


It is due to take around a fortnight to dismantle the bridge, with all of its components then assessed and new parts re-cast if needed.


Work to the stone abutments on either end of the bridge – built in around 1800 and linking Blaise Castle estate to Kingsweston Fields – is due to start in 2024.


The abutments will be built up by just over one metre and steps added, ready for when the bridge is craned back into place.


The long-term plan for Kingsweston Iron Bridge is to raise the structure up by just over a metre, add steps at either end, and fully repair and restore the bridge – photo: Janet Poole


The £1.1m restoration project is being funded by Bristol City Council’s Highway Infrastructure Bridge Investments fund.


During the bridge’s eight-year closure, there have been several protests by local residents urging the council to get a move on, with the council itself saying that they have been working on a “long-term solution… that was sensitive to the footbridge’s historic nature”.


In February 2022, Bristol North West MP Darren Jones took the rare step of publicly calling on mayor Marvin Rees to find the cash to repair the bridge.


Disability campaigners have also criticised the council for pressing on with the long-awaited repairs to the bridge even though the work will make it inaccessible to wheelchairs and buggies.


The idea of a ramp for people with mobility problems and parents with prams and pushchairs was rejected as unacceptable by Historic England because it would have to be 30 metres long.

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