‘Safety critical’ repairs to Exeter Swing Bridge will affect busy route for nearly three weeks

‘Essential and safety critical’ repairs to the Swing Bridge in Exeter will begin on Monday (April 27) – affecting the busy route for nearly three weeks. 

Sections of the structure’s two main steel beams need to be replaced after recent inspections found they have suffered corrosion.

Work on the span – which carries outbound traffic on the A379 – will last until Friday, May 15.

Lighter traffic due to the coronavirus lockdown means this can take place during the day.

The Swing Bridge will be moved to its ‘open’ position for ‘extended periods’ and contraflow arrangements, with temporary traffic lights, will be introduced over the Bascule Bridge.

This temporary road layout and the traffic signals will be in place 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week for the duration of the scheme.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council (DCC) cabinet member for highway management, said: “The corrosion to the steel means this safety critical work needs to be carried out as soon as possible.

“This kind of scheme, on such a busy route, would normally be carried out overnight, but, due to the lighter traffic flows during the current lockdown, work can be undertaken in the daytime using contraflow traffic management.

“Site staff will be following social distancing guidelines, and daytime working should help the progress of the scheme. Every effort will be made to complete this work ahead of schedule.”

DCC says that, ‘for safety of the public and site workers’, the speed limit along Bridge Road will be reduced from 40mph to 30mph.

A spokesperson added: “The traffic management will be monitored by the contactor on-site Monday-Friday from 7am to 4pm, to allow priority for emergency vehicles.

“A temporary crossing will also be provided to enable the cycle route between the canal basin and Starcross to remain open.

“This temporary crossing will be manned during busy periods and will be five metres wide to aid social distancing.”

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