DCC have confirmed that one of the downstream piles was in poor condition. To mitigate this they have now received a large 3.7 tonne pipe which is being modified at the contractor’s yard. This pipe will be placed around the cluster of piles and have concrete injected into it. When the concrete has cured the weight restriction can be removed. This should take a couple of weeks, weather permitting. However it will entail a full closure of at least six hours – we will try to make this happen to cause as little disruption as possible but is tide dependant.
The upstream pile caisson has been found to have timber pitch pine piles but these are in good condition.
Engineers are working on all the pile clusters to check they are in good condition and require no further work.
Engineers believe that when the downstream work is finished the full 40 tonne weight limit can be reinstated – great news for Christmas!
Devon County Council has set up a new webpage for information on Shaldon Bridge.
Please click here to be directed to the webpage.
Please see the below update from County Councillor Alistair Dewhirst:
A quick update. I must tell you that there is no higher priority in Devon at the moment and all are working straight through until the problem is sorted. The diving team were working over the weekend and we are still waiting for the results of yesterday’s inspection – sadly the more we inspect the more we find degraded timber. There is still a possibility that, should more problems be found, the Chief Engineer will have no choice but to close the bridge.
There is however a ray of light. The engineers have devised a system over the weekend that involves encapsulating the piles and injecting micro-concrete at high pressure – this would take the load further down the piles into areas where there is no degradation of the timber. Devon County Engineers are today talking to a local firm of Engineering Contractors who we believe could do the job straight away with minimal disruption and take two or three weeks – this would then mean the weight restriction could be lifted to 7 1/2 tonne. We are currently mobilising heavy equipment across the south west so that if and when we need to put additional piles in to support the bridge back to a 40 tonne limit we are ready.
I think the next few hours are going to be critical – I have impressed on everyone the importance of keeping the bridge open. I have also discussed many of the suggestions made on social media such as putting a baily bridge on top of the existing, but sadly all of these ideas were not feasable.
Please note that the Village Hall Committee will be meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday 2 October 2018) at 19.00.
The Parish Council has received comments regarding the planned commemorative tree planting and these are best addressed to the committee.
Members of the Public are warmly welcomed at these meetings.
Stokeinteignhead Parish Council