Construction work to restore Gaol Ferry Bridge is nearing completion and the council will reopen the refurbished footbridge at 5pm on Friday 8 September.
Councillor Don Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport, said:
I am delighted that we will be reopening Gaol Ferry Bridge in a month’s time on 8 September.
I know everyone who uses this popular foot and cycle bridge will be pleased to have a date when they will be able to start using it again.
Thank you again to local residents and businesses for their patience as Griffiths, our contractor, completed the first major repair programme in the bridge’s almost 100-year history.
It’s been a challenging project as the bridge was in an even worse condition than anticipated, with paper-thin steelwork in some places. You can read more about the restoration project in a blog I posted earlier this year.
On top of the extended repairs required, the scaffolding plan had to be redesigned so as not to risk putting too much weight on the old, lightweight bridge.
The £1.5 million essential works have included replacing the structural steelwork and rotten timbers, repairing the steel lattice work and some stonework, and repainting it. Saturday working was also introduced to make sure that the repairs kept on track as much as possible.
Over the next month Griffiths workers will complete the final steel repairs, paint the last sections of the bridge, install the new modern decking system, and take down the extensive scaffolding, after which time the bridge will be reopened and safe to cross.
The pedestrian crossing next to Gaol Ferry Bridge on Cumberland Road by Wapping Wharf and Gaol Ferry Steps will be refurbished ahead of the bridge reopening. The progress of these crossing works will not have any impact on the date when the bridge will reopen.
Signage will also be installed at Gaol Ferry Bridge, and at Vauxhall and Bedminster bridges, which are along the diversion routes, to remind people of the date that the bridge will reopen.
Gaol Ferry Bridge is the first of six bridges to be restored in the council’s ambitious £16 million rolling programme of repairs. The remaining bridges include Sparke Evans Park Bridge, Vauxhall Bridge, Langton Street Bridge (also known as Banana Bridge) and the twin bridges of Bedminster Bridge and Bath Bridge.
Councillor Don Alexander continued:
Over the years, Gaol Ferry Bridge, along with many other bridges and structures in Bristol, have been neglected. Having inherited a legacy of underinvestment,
I am proud we have put together a multi-million pound investment programme to make sure Bristol’s bridges are safe for future generations.
The programme of repairs is being funded by the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement, administered by the West of England Combined Authority.
A £1 million restoration of Kingsweston Lane Bridge, which links Blaise Castle Estate to Kingsweston Fields, will also take place using money from the Highway Infrastructure Bridge Investments fund, with repairs due to be completed by December 2024.