New bridge in Sidmouth opens to the public after ‘a number of challenges’

A new bridge in Sidmouth is open to the public after its construction was faced with ‘a number of challenges’.

The new (Fortescue) Skinners Farm Bridge in Sidmouth is officially open for use, Devon County Council has announced.

Work to improve the area surrounding the bridge will continue in the New Year, DCC said – including the removal of a temporary structure and construction equipment compound, plus the reinstatement of footpaths and re-seeding of grassed areas.

The new bridge has been made slightly higher than the former structure, in a bid to beat any floodwater issues.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highway management, said: “I want to thank the bridges team and MacPlant Construction, our main contractor, who has had to deal with a number of challenges.

“The bridge is open but there is reinstatement work that needs to be completed.

“We have opened the new bridge to the public to enable us to close and move the temporary bridges we currently have in place.

“Once that has been completed, work to reinstate the paths can begin.

“The compound also has to be removed to enable the reinstatement of the field.”

The county council said the work to bring the area around the new bridge up to scratch would continue in January.

The replacement structure was built when it was decided the old bridge was no longer fit for purpose, DCC said.

A DCC spokesman said: “Work to reinstate the surrounding area will continue into the New Year.

“This will include the removal of the temporary bridges, reinstatement of the paths and the removal of the works compound so that the area can be returned to its original state.”

DCC said the old bridge was an ‘important link’ between the Fortescue area of Sidmouth to the National Cycle Network Route on The Byes.

The DCC spokesman said: “The old wooden bridge was no longer fit for purpose and was affected by flooding – the new bridge is slightly higher to help reduce these issues.

“The work to the west side is progressing well with the reinstatement of fences and seeding to be completed.

“To east side of the bridge a farm crossing point will be put in place.”

Kids’ play is weeks away – The Ham park is set to reopen in Sidmouth

About Author