South West Coastpath diversion planned in Sidmouth
A footbridge in Sidmouth, which is part of the South West Coastpath will be temporarily closed next week.
Devon County Council will close the Alma Bridge over the River Sid in Sidmouth while further investigative work is carried out on the structure following damage caused by the July floods.
As a precautionary safety measure, a temporary crossing was installed across the bridge.
The deterioration of the mudstone rock foundations beneath the western pier which were exposed by the floods, were raised as a concern by the county council's bridge engineers. The structure has been continually monitored and further investigations will be carried out during the closure from Tuesday, January 22, to Friday, January 25. The diversion will b e clearly marked.
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County council surveys have revealed that a major rebuild is likely as both piers have suffered significant scour and the concrete decking is beyond reasonable repair.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for Highways and Transportation, and chairman of Sidmouth Town Council, said: "These latest investigations are needed to see what state the condition of the abutments are and whether they could be built upon, or what could possibly be salvaged from the bridge in providing a future crossing of the Sid.
"Although no budget has been identified, the costs could be substantial so it's vital that we know what progress is being made by the district council and Environment Agency to protect Pennington Point before any funding is committed to this project."