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The public opening of Poole's Twin Sails Bridge to traffic is going to be postponed to allow repairs to two sections of the bridge's road surface.
An inspection carried out by contractors following load testing last week has revealed a defect in a small area of road surfacing on both lifting leaves of the bridge.
Following further assessments, Borough of Poole and the project contractors Hochtief (UK) Construction Ltd have agreed to replace the road surface on each lifting leaf.
A date for this remedial work is yet to be confirmed and will follow the completion of more assessment work by the contractor this week.
Jim Bright, Strategic Director, Borough of Poole, said:
"After an initial inspection last week (starting March 5th) revealed an issue with a small section of the road surfacing, the bridge was left raised all night on both Saturday and Sunday. A small area of defective surfacing then came away from the top section of one lifting leaf. This incident did not present a hazard and subsequently the contractor has removed a section of the road surface around the area affected.
"An investigation into the cause of the defect will be completed by the contractor and their materials specialist over the next few days. Once this assessment is complete, appropriate remedial work will be carried out. The logistical arrangements for carrying out this work may take some days to put in place and are subject to ongoing discussions between the council, its contractor and other stakeholders.
"It is disappointing that this setback should occur at the end of a successful construction project that will deliver huge benefits to Poole. The council and its contractor share the frustrations of everyone who wants to see the Twin Sails Bridge open to traffic at the earliest opportunity. However, a short delay to resolve these outstanding issues now, when the bridge is not yet open to traffic, is preferable to causing disruption by closing the bridge at a later date."
The official celebrations for the Twin Sails Bridge on Friday 9 March and the visit by HRH The Princess Royal on Monday 12 March went ahead as scheduled.