Monday, December 20, 2010

Historic river bridge repair not in Bath's Western Riverside agreement

Victoria Bridge has been the centre piece of promotional material for Bath's Western Riverside development but it will not be repaired as part of the agreement for the first phase of the project that was signed between Crest Nicholson and Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES) last week.
Promotional picture for Bath's Western Riverside Development with Victoria Bridge centre-stage

The agreement will allow work to start in the New Year on the first 299 homes of the development that will eventually have 2,200 homes on the site between Victoria Bridge and Windsor Bridge — but a Council spokesman said, "The bridge is a side issue and will have to be repaired separately."

The northern entrance to Victoria Bridge - sealed off
Picture by Bob Naylor
Victoria Bridge was closed in August for safety reasons and after an assessment by B&NES' structural engineers, the Council decided to re-open the bridge at a reduced width in October — only to close it again a few days later without giving any explanation except to say that in response to new information it was decided that the bridge should be closed to all users in the interests of public safety.  

Victoria Bridge, a Grade 2 listed structure, is an example of the work of Bath engineer James Dredge. It was built in 1836 and like the many other bridges he designed that are still in use all over the world it is a radical alternative to the established suspension bridge design.

Victoria Bridge — with the shuttering in place to restrict the width of the bridge: Picture by Bob Naylor

For more information about the work of James Dredge go to: Derrick Hunt's-James Dredge website 

Another, smaller scale, example of James Dredge's work can be seen spanning the Kennet & Avon Canal at Wilcot near Pewsey where one of his footbridges links parts of the Stowell Park Estate. 

1 comment:

  1. Everything that SMELLS slightly off about the proposed future use of the Kennet & Aon canal gets highlighted in this very succinct article covering cruisway status & the promises that came with it, and the fact that while we can build hundreds of dinky houses in next to no time, we seem unable to fix a small foot bridge! what's going on? Call in the Army Engineers now!
    And while were at it, confiscate all directors pay & wages and let it pay for any repairs needed on any stretch of canal with cruiseway status, now!