The Twin Sails Bridge has temporarily reopened this afternoon (18 December 2018) to all road users ahead of the Christmas holiday.
The Hamworthy leaf of the bridge is being operated on a single cylinder operating mode, meaning the bridge is being lifted using one ram and is therefore operating at half the usual speed. This arrangement will continue until repairs can be carried out, bringing the bridge back into full use.
A means of extracting the half-tonne pin from the rod end assembly has been identified and arrangements are being made for this work to be carried out by specialist engineers in late January 2019. Once the pin has been removed, engineers will be able to identify the fault and develop a programme to carry out the appropriate repairs.
Lynne Wait, Interim Engineering Manager, Borough of Poole, said: “Once it became evident that the method of extracting the pin using a hydraulic jack was not going to work, we set about looking at other solutions to overcome this issue. At the same time we also worked closely with our sub-contractors to see how we could bring the bridge back into use. We have gone through a thorough process of eliminating potential causes of the fault and are confident that the renewed lifts will not cause further damage to the bridge.”
In the meantime both Poole Bridge and the Twin Sails Bridge will operate on the bridge maintenance schedule, requiring a reduced number of bridge lifts.
Cllr Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Planning, Regeneration and Transportation, Borough of Poole, added: “It was important that we reopened the bridge as soon as we could and I’m pleased we have managed to do this in time for Christmas and the New Year.”