Following an independent inspection of the bridge at the end of April 2021 it was confirmed that repairs and refurbishment works were necessary. This is needed without delay to address significant defects and replace key structural members. Repair works and refurbishment need to be undertaken at the earliest opportunity to ensure the safety of the public.
The bridge is expected to be closed from 2 July until the end of September 2021 whilst the works are in progress.
Since Suffolk County Council and its local members committed funds to undertake this major refurbishment, concerted efforts have been made to engage with key stakeholders and identify ways of mitigating the impact this closure will have locally.
It has been fully recognised that the closure of this bridge at a time where lockdown is easing will present a challenge to local residents, businesses and visitors to the town. However the safety of those using the bridge has to be the priority.
In light of the impact that this closure could have on local businesses and those using the bridge for commuting purposes, a number of mitigation measures have been explored to take place during the closure.
- £20,000 support pot that'll be administered by the local councils
- Longer working hours and a longer working week so the work can be completed as quickly as possible – shortening the programme of work from 16 weeks to 12 weeks
- More frequent and extra ferry services – visit walberswickferry.com for more information
- Temporary traffic measures in Walberswick for the duration of the work to better support those travelling into the area.
Information notices detailing the closure are placed on site, and mobilisation works are set to begin to ready the site from Monday 28 June 2021, ahead of the closure of the bridge on Friday 2 July 2021.