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Poole Bridge approach spans

On 23 January 2018, Poole Bridge reopened for public use following an extensive refurbishment programme.

The contractor, Interserve, has advised that all the outstanding works and safety checks have been completed, so we have taken back possession of the bridge.

Thank you for your patience and understanding while work on the bridge has continued through several unforeseen and challenging issues.

What caused the delay

Works were originally due to take around nine months. Unfortunately there were a number of unforeseen issues which needed to be resolved including:

  • additional steel-work repairs
  • major buried obstructions including uncharted remains of previous bridges and buried old quay walls
  • many unrecorded abandoned and live utility cables

Towards the end of the project there were:

  • delivery delays of some timber walkway panels and the totems which house the traffic signals and barriers; impacting the overall works programme to complete the new control system
  • installation delays affecting the vehicle and pedestrian gates and testing of all the bridge's safety features

Why the work was needed

The work on Poole Bridge was essential and started in September 2016. At that time, the approach spans, ie the parts of the bridge that carry traffic from the land to the main section of the bridge (the green copper clad towers), were over 85 years old. Despite regular maintenance, the spans were worn out and needed complete replacement.

Doing nothing would have resulted in access restrictions on Poole Bridge. Initially no heavy vehicles would be able to cross, reducing in time to only allow pedestrian and cycle access, prior to a full closure.

The new approach spans and walkways are wider which will ease traffic and create a safer and more pleasant experience for pedestrians and cyclists. These improvements, coupled with the major resurfacing work on Blandford Road, will provide a better journey for those travelling to and from Hamworthy and especially those who wish to walk and cycle to and from the town centre.

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership

We are committed to ensuring Poole continues to benefit from a two-bridge system to safeguard the future economic growth and employment opportunities in Hamworthy and has been awarded funding of £7.3 million from the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (DLEP) to deliver this scheme, as well as supporting the local community.

The DLEP manages the Government’s funding streams. Poole Bridge is part of the overall £23.3 million awarded to us to improve access to the Port, as one of the county’s key assets. The funding came from the Growth Deal programme and is designed to help drive Dorset’s economic growth, improve housing, and create more highly skilled jobs around Dorset, in particular the Port of Poole and its regeneration area.

Other Poole transport improvement schemes funded by the DLEP include:

  • improving Gravel Hill, Poole’s prime transport corridor to the Port of Poole; including Queen Anne Junction and Gravel Hill embankment
  • Poole town-side access to improve the highway network south of the railway to the two lifting bridges
Page last updated: 12 February 2019
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