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Lane and pavement closed for repairs on problem bridge

PUBLISHED: 09:02 10 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:02 10 September 2020

The Haven Bridge at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Haven Bridge at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A lane and a pavement will be closed for a week to allow for repairs on a problem-plagued bridge.

Haven Bridge in Great Yarmouth was stuck in the open position for two hours bringing the town to a standstill.Haven Bridge in Great Yarmouth was stuck in the open position for two hours bringing the town to a standstill.

The Haven Bridge, which spans the River Yare in Great Yarmouth, is currently broken due to electrical issues and unable to raise to let large vessels pass through.

Last month the council announced that refurbishment worth £1.2m will begin after Christmas - but some upgrades have been brought forward after the bridge failed a routine inspection carried out last month by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - with concerns raised over switchboards on the site.

There is a risk if the bridge is lifted it may remain stuck in the open position, as safety concerns would prevent engineers from directly accessing the switchboards.

The repair work, organised by Norfolk County Council and beginning on Thursday (September 10), will see bridge technicians explore the possibility of bringing back into operation an existing hand winding mechanism with suitable modifications, including motors to power the mechanism.

The mechanism, which dates back 90 years to when the bridge was built, had been taken out of use a number of years ago.

The investigation work will require a temporary closure of one of the traffic lanes heading east, towards Yarmouth, until Friday, September 18, from 7am to 4.30pm each day.

The path on the north side adjacent to the closed traffic lane will also be closed, but pedestrian access over the bridge will be maintained via the pavement on the south side.

Once the investigation has been carried out the council will know whether the option is feasible as a short-term means of operating the bridge periodically, at night with a full road closure because the hand winding mechanism will take considerably longer to lift the bridge than normal, to allow vessels through.

The repairs are scheduled to last until September 18.

Last summer the 90-year-old bridge froze while open, leading to chaos for motorists and pedestrians.

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