Friday 7 Sep 2018
Lewes MP helps Network Rail's restoration of 120-year-old footbridge
Lewes MP Maria Caulfield helped add some finishing touches to Network Rail’s revamp of a busy railway footbridge today, 7 September.
The pedestrian bridge, which has carried people safely between Pelham Terrace and Landport Road in Lewes since 1898, has received an extensive makeover.
Network Rail and their contractors Dyer and Butler were able to put up scaffolding in just one day, piggybacking on an already planned weekend closure for rail maintenance to avoid further disruption.
They are carrying out repairs to the Victorian wrought-iron style structure, installing extra steel under the bridge to strengthen it, before sand blasting the bridge to remove paint and corrosion.
It will receive a fresh coat of protective paint, while timber decking is being replaced with maintenance-free, glass-reinforced plastic equivalents, which have a lifespan of 50 years.
On top of this, the solid steel cladding on the sides of the bridge will be replaced with a see-through mesh to make it brighter and safer.
Maria Caulfield, the MP for Lewes, helped add some sealant today before the scaffolding is removed and it is reopened to the public on September 24.
“I was pleased to be able to add the finishing touches to the refurbished pedestrian bridge between Pelham Terrace and Landport Road which has carried people over the railway line for well over 100 years,” she said.
“It is excellent for travellers that the work was able to be done without any additional disruption being caused to journey times.”
Stephen Gillen, works delivery manager for Network Rail, added: “We recognise there’s never a good time to close such an important link for the community, however this work was vital.
“We chose to do the work in the summer to coincide with the already scheduled railway maintenance and so local people wouldn’t have to walk the diversion route during the colder winter months, which was our alternative option to do the work.
“We’re very grateful to residents for their understanding and patience while this work was carried out, which means the bridge can continue to play an important role in connecting residents for years to come.”
“The scaffolding meant we were able to completely contain the bridge to carry out the work without disrupting train services,” added Jeff Taylor, contracts manager for Dyer and Butler, which led the restoration for Network Rail.
“This bridge is so important to the area because it links the two communities either side of the railway.
“It’s an incredibly busy walkway for people walking their dogs by the river, those using the local park or the popular Pells pool.”
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.