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Old Tram Bridge shut due to collapse fears

Posted on - 27th February, 2019 - 6:06pm | Author - | Posted in - Avenham, Preston City Centre, Preston News
The Old Tram Bridge is shut indefinitely following a safety inspection Pic: Tony Worrall
The Old Tram Bridge is shut indefinitely following a safety inspection Pic: Tony Worrall

A pedestrian bridge across the River Ribble has been closed off.

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The Old Tram Bridge in Avenham and Miller Park has been shut to the public due to its condition.

Lancashire County Council says there are numerous safety concerns about the bridge.

A diversion has been put in place to use the nearby Avenham Viaduct Bridge instead and no reopening date has been set for the Old Tram Bridge.

A footpath along the south bank of the river linking to Winery Lane behind the Capitol Centre at Walton le Dale to the east and Lower Penwortham to the west has also been closed at the point where it passes under the bridge. Cyclists and walkers are advised to check alternative routes.

Read more: Military link in Avenham and Miler Park to be marked

Cabinet member for highways and transport county councillor Keith Iddon said: “I’m sorry we’ve had to close the Old Tram Bridge, however this is our only option after the recent inspection raised concerns about its safety.

“The original bridge was built in 1802, however it has been completely re-built in the 20th Century. The current bridge piers which are made of reinforced concrete date to the 1930s, and the pre-stressed concrete deck dates to the 1960s.

“These elements have reached a point where they need to be replaced.

“Officers are now looking into the options and we will let people know more as soon as we can.”

Investigation work taking place on the Old Tram Bridge in recent weeks Pic: Moira Claire/Blog Preston
Investigation work taking place on the Old Tram Bridge in recent weeks Pic: Moira Claire/Blog Preston

Read more: A history of a ghost rail line running through Preston

Here’s everything the county council found was wrong with the bridge:

  • Cracking to the pre-stressed concrete beams, affecting their strength.
  • Cracking to the light weight concrete trestle supports due to issues with the original construction of the bridge deck resulting in the concentration of load where the beams are supported.
  • Degradation of the concrete and corrosion of the steel reinforcement in the trestle supports.
  • Poor condition of the raking struts beneath the bridge which supported the original wooden bridge deck. These are not needed to support the current concrete deck but are a risk to anyone using the path under the bridge.

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