Porthill Footbridge in Shrewsbury to be refurbished next year
Shropshire Council is planning to carry out major refurbishment work next year to Porthill Footbridge in Shrewsbury as part of its commitment to investing in the county’s bridges.
The work will include carrying out repairs to the bridge’s structural steelwork, grit blasting and repainting the whole bridge and replacing the bridge’s timber deck.
The bridge crosses the River Severn, between the Quarry and Porthill.
The work, at an estimated cost of £450,000, is necessary because much of the bridge’s steelwork is rusting quite heavily and areas of the timber deck are starting to suffer from rot.
Unfortunately, to carry out the proposed work, it will be necessary to close the bridge for the duration of the work which is expected to start on 12 March and last until late July 2012. It is therefore expected that the bridge will have re-opened in time for the 2012 Shrewsbury Flower Show.
Councillor Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for bridge maintenance said:
“This is essential maintenance work which needs to be carried out due to the condition of the bridge.
“Since taking over responsibility for the bridge in 2009 we have been required to carry out works to it, due to its state of repair, and need to undertake this major refurbishment.
“Whilst it is appreciated that it may be less disruptive for the local community if the work was to take place during the winter months, unfortunately, in this instance this is not possible.
“The reasons for this are that the painting work cannot be carried out when the weather is very cold. Also, the work is not suitable to be carried out during these months because the temporary scaffolding that will need to be erected on the bridge to carry out the work could increase the risk of flooding in Shrewsbury by acting as a partial barrier to the river when in flood.
“We are liaising with local businesses to keep them informed and to minimise disruption as much as we can. Every effort will be made to re-open the bridge as quickly as possible.”
Provided that the river remains at typical summer levels, river traffic should not be affected by the work and the Sabrina Boat cruises will be able to continue as normal. Similarly, events scheduled to be held in the Quarry will be able to continue as planned.
In the new year, signs will be put up at the bridge to give advance notice of the proposed temporary closure.
When the bridge is closed, signage informing pedestrians and cyclists of alternative routes will be provided.