Updated 6th November 2012
Construction of the new bridge continues apace. Installation of the 7 marine piles is now complete as is installation of the sheet piling for both the northern abutment and the tidal wall on the south side. This is very good news and means that this phase of the works has been completed before planning conditions restricting piling activity for the winter months came into force on the 1st November.
The next stage of the works, which has already started, is to install precast concrete heads on each of the piers. These heads are wider than the pier and will eventually support the twin steel beams that the deck will sit on. Installing the heads requires the piles to be trimmed down to their required height. This allows for greater accuracy in achieving the correct height than the piling rig can achieve. This also allows for impurities in the concrete that will have been carried up the pile when the concrete was poured into the pile casings. The concrete is pumped in from the bottom so any loose spoil left after auguring will be pushed to the top during the pour. Each head will be trial fitted and the reinforcement bars adjusted to allow the head to be fitted in the correct alignment. The heads are then concreted into position.
This work will be ongoing through November and will be followed during December with the installation of the bearings and steel beams for the northern and southern approach spans. The swinging centre section will not be installed until the deck has been poured in the New Year.
WSCC is currently aiming to open the bridge to the public in August 2013.
Following the permanent closure of the footbridge the transport arrangements are being reviewed. In the meantime the shuttle bus service will continue whilst a bridge is not available.