Thursday 19 Jun 2003

RIVER BRIDGE WORK TO CUT RAIL DELAYS

Region & Route:
Wales
Western
Wales and Western
Thousands of pounds are being spent by Network Rail on a number of bridges across rivers in the West of England, to cut the time they are closed due to flooding. The eight bridges – seven in Devon and one in Cornwall – all share a common problem: the deck is not anchored to the supports so, following flooding, lengthy checks have to be carried out to ensure the bridge is safe before the track can be reopened. The work being carried out will connect the deck to the supports and remove the risk of the span shifting during a flood. It means the bridges will be opened more quickly following any flooding and so improve services to customers. In addition, with the deck anchorage complete, the bridges can remain open longer during flooding.             Work is being carried out this summer in Devon on: ·        Creedy river bridge, near Newton St Cyres and Crediton stations ·        Hill Barton Farm bridge, near Yeoford station ·        Popes bridge, near Lapford station ·        Lapford Wood bridge, near Lapford station ·        Wiermarsh viaduct, near Umberleigh station ·        Black bridge, near Chapleton station ·        River Culm bridge, near Tiverton station -more- Deck 2 In Cornwall, work will take place at Luxulyan bridge near St Austell station. Each project is costing between £10,000 and £60,000. The railway lines are due to remain open while work is carried out. “The bridges we are working on all cross rivers which are prone to flooding of the track,” said Graeme Tandy, Network Rail’s scheme project manager. “The problem then arises that there may be a shift in the top of the bridge if, for example, it is struck by an object carried along the river. When flooding subsides we have to carry out extensive checks to ensure no displacement has taken place. By carrying out work which will anchor the top to the bottom, these checks will take less time and the bridge reopened much more quickly.”

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