WORK to install a state-of-the-art cathodic protection system to safeguard the future of Bideford s historic Long Bridge is expected to be finished by the end of September this year. Repair works have been completed to the first six spans of the thirteent
WORK to install a state-of-the-art cathodic protection system to safeguard the future of Bideford's historic Long Bridge is expected to be finished by the end of September this year.Repair works have been completed to the first six spans of the thirteenth century masonry arch bridge, starting from the East-the-Water side of the Torridge.A Devon County Council spokesperson said that installation of the cathodic protection system over these six spans was still ongoing on the downstream side and "progressing well" on the upstream side.Further work is still being done on the concrete supports at each bridge pier position, which are being wired up to a control box at the east end of the bridge. The spokesperson said "rapid progress" was also being made with the removal of defective concrete on a further six spans on the downstream side.When complete, it is hoped that a small electrical current applied through the concrete will stop the corrosion of the steel reinforcement and preserve the bridge in its current form for at least 60 years.A Devon County Council spokesman said: "The cathodic protection is still being installed and won't be operational until it has been installed over at least the first half of the bridge."Work on site it is expected to finish in late September 2009 unless unforeseen conditions arise."Other work in the �2.1million scheme, which started in October last year, has involved extensive repairs to the concrete beams supporting the footways, as well as the replacement of existing under bridge lighting.