A Rusty Footbridge
Gets a Makeover
Reopened June 2003
The footbridge by Oakfield School in Imperial
Road was removed for refurbishment in February 2003. For a few
hours on Sunday 23rd February engineers worked with heavy lifting
gear to remove the main span of the footbridge from the piers
and stairways supporting it and take it away to Legoland to be
repainted. Legoland provided an area for this work to be undertaken
by WMBC contractors, Jarvis Plc. A rumour at the time that the
bridge would advertise Legoland proved unfounded. In the following
week, work began on repairing and repainting the stairways and
ramps on either side of the road, with the remaining structures
on each side of the road encased in white polythene sheeting.
The bridge was due to be reconstructed
at the end of April and re-opened to the public shortly after.
Two 'all-day' closures of Imperial Road were scheduled at the
start and end of the eight-week contract, both at weekends to
minimise inconvenience to drivers, the first to remove the cross-span
and trhe second to replace it. As it turned out, the road closures
were for only a few hours.
Following the refurbishment and repainting, the bridge
was reconstructed during the morning of Sunday April 27.
Cllr Derek Wilson, lead member for transport management
at the time, explained: "Normally a scheme of this
kind would need an eight-week road closure to allow the work
on the footbridge overhead to go ahead in safety. However,
we want to cause minimum disruption to road users so we have
decided to repair the bridge off-site, which will allow us to
keep the road open except for two Sundays. We feel this
will be much appreciated by everyone and pedestrians will still
be able to cross the road in safety by using the pelican crossings
at each end of the road."
Update June 2003
The bridge was replaced by crane on April
27th having been repainted in light blue. However, there was
an extended delay until 5th June because the non-slip surface
was not satisfactory and had to be reapplied.
The official opening took place on 5th
June at 11.00am. The bridge cost £65,000 to refurbish and
it is hoped that it will last a further 25 years.
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