September 19 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
An emergency support tower has been put in place to prop up Clacton’s Venetian Bridge after a piece of concrete came away from the 100-year-old structure.
Engineers were called to the bridge at Pier Gap by Tendring District Council (TDC) at the end of last week.
An immediate inspection revealed damage to one of the beams, corrosion and further cracking.
The support tower has been installed in the middle of the structure, which has allowed both the bridge and half the road underneath to remain open while further investigations take place.
The tower will remain in place until at least after the Clacton Air Show on August 21 and 22 and there is a new height limit of 3.5metres for any vehicles passing underneath.
Nick Turner, TDC’s cabinet member for coast protection, said: “The piece of concrete which has fallen off has weakened the beam and there are other cracks appearing. Access is still available down to the pier and the lower promenade and traders have been informed about the situation. With the tower in place one carriageway of the road along with the bridge can remain open and further in-depth investigation will be carried out.”
Mr Turner added that without the tower in place it would have been necessary to close the area to vehicles and pedestrians. Further samples will be taken and the council is waiting for a follow-up report from its structural engineers.
The Venetian Bridge was built in 1914 as part of a revamp of the area around Clacton Pier.