Marlow Bridge is to reopen, weather permitting, on Friday 25th November 2016.
The bridge has been closed to traffic since Saturday 24th September 2016 when a 37 tonne lorry tried to cross the bridge which has a weight limit of just 3 tonnes.
The decision to re-open the bridge follows the outcome of structural engineering tests.
Engineers carried out rigorous inspections on the structure of the historic bridge using ultrasound and magnetic particle, the tests revealed no serious damage.
In the coming week, the engineers will restore the sections of the bridge that were exposed for weld testing with three coats of paint. The scaffolding surrounding the bridge’s two towers will also be taken down and timber work that was removed for inspection will be reinstated.
Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Transport Cabinet Member, was delighted. ‘We needed to make sure the bridge was safe and secure for all to use before opening it, and I’m pleased the engineers’ go-ahead has come ahead of the Christmas trading period.‘
Engineers have been examining every part of the structure since the lorry, owned by the Lithuanian haulage company Girteka, tried to cross the bridge on Saturday 24th September 2016. A special inspection platform and a river barge were commissioned to enable testing above and below the road deck.
The 19th century bridge, which has a 3 tonne weight limit, has been closed to vehicles since, although open to pedestrians and cyclists.
Richard Scott, local County Councillor for Marlow shared Mark’s delight at the opening of the bridge. ‘Christmas is a very important time for the town’s retailers, so this will come as a great relief to them‘, he said. ‘Residents, visitors and commuters will also be pleased that traffic congestion on the Marlow bypass will be considerably reduced.‘