Bideford Bridge work won't affect Tour of Britain, council says

DEVON County Council has given an assurance that refurbishment work on the historic Bideford Longbridge will have no effect on the Tour of Britain Cycle race, which visits the town on September 17. A �2.1 million scheme to repair the bridge is nearing com

DEVON County Council has given an assurance that refurbishment work on the historic Bideford Longbridge will have no effect on the Tour of Britain Cycle race, which visits the town on September 17.

A �2.1 million scheme to repair the bridge is nearing completion and is expected to be finished by October.

The council has assured the Tour organisers and public that the road and footways on the bridge will be fully available and accessible on the day, and although some access scaffolding will still be in place, this will not obstruct the view of the race.

The Grade One Listed bridge is being sensitively repaired to retain its character and image as a local landmark. Certain areas of the bridge have gradually deteriorated over the years, and the reinforced concrete cantilever sections, added in the1920s to support the footways on each side of the old bridge masonry arches, have suffered particularly badly.


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The work has involved removing areas of cracked and crumbling concrete, cleaning the exposed steel beams and reinforcement, and repairing them with modern high strength repair mortars. In some areas concrete has been sprayed on to the supporting beams to further protect them.

A key feature of the repair work has been the installation of a cathodic protection system, which passes a small electrical current through the bridge concrete and steel which, in turn, stops the chemical rusting process. Using this technique, the life expectancy of the repairs is increased to in excess of 60 years.

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The scheme, designed by Devon County Council, started in September 2008 but has run beyond its original schedule.

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