Marlow Bridge to reopen

Marlow Bridge, which has been closed to traffic since September 24, is to reopen – weather permitting -on Friday November 25.

The decision follows the outcome this week of structural engineering tests, which have been carried out since a 37-tonne lorry tried to cross the bridge.

Engineers’ rigorous inspection, ultrasound and magnetic particle testing revealed no serious damage. In the coming week, they will restore sections exposed for weld testing with three coats of paint, remove scaffolding surrounding the bridge’s two towers, and reinstate timber work removed for inspection.

Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Transport Cabinet Member, was delighted. ‘We needed to make sure the bridge was safe and secure for all to use before opening it, and I’m pleased the engineers’ go-ahead has come aheadof the Christmas trading period.’

Engineers have been examining every part of the structure since the lorry, owned by the Lithuanian haulage company Girteka, tried to cross the bridge on Saturday September 24. A special inspection platform and a river barge were commissioned to enable testing above and below the road deck.

The 19th century bridge, whichhas a three-tonne weight limit, has been closed to vehicles since, although open to pedestrians and cyclists.

Richard Scott, local County Councillor for Marlow shared Mark’s delight at the opening of the bridge. ‘Christmas is a very important time for the town’s retailers, so this will come as a great relief to them, he said. ‘Residents, visitors and commuters will also be pleased that traffic congestion on the Marlow bypasswill be considerably reduced.’