Poole's Twin Sails Bridge Closed For A Week

31 March 2014, 05:00 | Updated: 3 April 2014, 07:41

The Twin Sails Bridge will close for one week from this morning (Monday 31 March) to enable 'pre-planned, essential maintenance' works to be carried out.

The bridge will be closed to road traffic, including cyclists and pedestrians, from 7am. During the closure Poole Bridge will be operating as normal and there will be no significant disruption to marine traffic.

The traffic signals at the junction of Blandford Road and Rigler Road will be turned off during the closure to allow the control cabinet to be replaced following accidental damage.

The bridge has had all sorts of problems and breakdowns in the two years since it opened, and the council says the bulk of this week's work is to correct issues left by the contractor that built it.

The works being carried out will include annual preventative maintenance and some minor modifications following two years experience of operating the bridge. We will also be addressing some defects that were not resolved by the Twin Sails Bridge contractor, which will be paid for with money withheld from the contractor. The works will include:

- Inspection and safety checks for high voltage supply
- Servicing the electrical and hydraulic systems
- Checks and minor adjustments to the control systems
- Repairing an isolated leak in to the bridge deck
- Modifications to the barrier mechanisms to make replacement of barriers following traffic incidents quicker and easier
- Various minor works to the control/operating systems to address issues that have arisen over the past two years
- Provision of rumble strips on the bridge approaches to improve road safety
- Repairs to the superficial cracking in the east abutment wing wall capping beams

John Rice, Engineering Manager, Borough of Poole, said:

"It is important that we keep our lifting bridges operating efficiently and reliably in the long term and this means carrying out preventative maintenance in a planned way. By closing the Twin Sails Bridge outside of peak times in the year we will be able to minimise disruption to residents who will always have one bridge available."

The planned maintenance arrangements for Poole's two lifting bridges are being implemented as:
- both bridges require regular essential maintenance to reduce the risk of breakdowns, minimise the risk of expensive repairs and maintain public safety
- it is becoming increasingly expensive to undertake work overnight
- external suppliers who carry out maintenance of the control systems, hydraulics and high voltage electrical equipment can be booked in advance
- working in March or April and September avoids winter weather conditions which can delay the progress of works
- one bridge will still be available for road users

The annual closure of Poole Bridge will take place in September for up to one week.