Historic bridge re-opens despite new defect

02/11/2023
Chris Ames

A historic bridge in Gloucester is set to re-open to vehicles on Friday following two months of work to repair crash damage.

A vehicle collided with the Halfpenny Bridge on the A361 in Lechlade-on-Thames in the early hours of Tuesday 20 June, causing significant damage to the wall of the bridge.

A road closure was put in place on the A361 but the bridge remained open to pedestrians and cyclists.

Gloucestershire County Council has been carrying out repairs, which required the approval of Historic England and the secretary of state, as the bridge is a listed structure and Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The road is due to re-open from 4.30pm on Friday (3 November) following an eight-week repair programme.

Dom Morris, the council’s cabinet member responsible for highways, said: ‘It’s fantastic news that the bridge can now be re-opened. I know how hard the closure has been for local residents and businesses and I would like to thank them for their patience.

‘This was a complex project and I’m grateful for the hard work of our highways team and all our partners for ensuring this was completed in the timeframe set out.’

The council said that during the works a defect was uncovered that will require further repairs. A hole was found behind part of the brickwork at one end of the bridge, having been washed away through years of rising and falling water levels.

The highway authority said this has been reviewed by engineers and the bridge can be safely re-opened with continual monitoring.

Discussions are being held with Historic England and the Environment Agency over the repairs and it is anticipated that the road will be able to remain open while they are carried out, with traffic lights to manage vehicle flow.

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