A complex upgrade to the Tamar Bridge, that links Saltash, Cornwall with Plymouth, Devon is set to begin in April. The vital work is expected to last six months, with all three lanes on the main deck and the north-south cantilevers requiring work.
Cornwall Live reports that as well as the bridge, Tamar Crossings are planning on resurfacing the toll plaza area and the main approaches. The project is expected to finish in September when all lanes will reopen to traffic.
Tamar Crossing’s engineering manager, Richard Cole, said: “We recognise that the timing of the project means that the resurfacing will be continuing over the summer period.”
“Unfortunately the need to carry out the majority of the works during dry and mild weather means that we cannot move the project to the winter months.”
The iconic suspension bridge was last fully resurfaced between 1999 and 2001. The deck of the Tamar Bridge needs to be resurfaced every 20 to 25 years to prevent damage and corrosion from occurring to the steel deck.
The project was originally meant to start in 2020 but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Cole added that delaying the scheme for another year would lead to further deterioration in the surface of the deck.
Cole said that the work cannot be carried out at night, as this poses issues around worker safety and noise.
“Using heavy plant and machinery at night would have a major impact on the lives of the people close to the bridge,” he said.
Three lanes on the bridge will remain open during the works to help minimise disruption, and the south cantilever will be used as an additional lane if and when required.
However, this means the south cantilever will be closed to pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooter used for the duration of the works.
A free bus service will be provided to enable these groups to cross the bridge.
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