Can Alma Bridge be saved?

FINDINGS of a new probe into the structural integrity of Sidmouth’s Alma Bridge will determine whether it can be saved or must be replaced.

Further investigatory work on what lies beneath the landmark’s piers is due to take place on Thursday and Friday.

A temporary structure currently spans the River Sid as a permanent solution is sought to damage inflicted by floods in July.

Devon County Council took action after it was discovered the flood-hit bridge’s central (west) pier was sitting on shingle and not mudstone.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, county cabinet member for highways and transportation and local member, said: “Our bridge engineers arranged to do some further site investigations to determine the depth of the underlying mudstone adjacent to the west pier and to carry out a more detailed survey of the bridge site.

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“We had to get permission from the Environment Agency to do the work in the river and it is scheduled for September 27 and 28.

“Following that we will look at the feasibility and cost of underpinning the pier and reinstating the old bridge parapets.

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“We will of course look at other options to bridge the river should the underpinning not be appropriate”.

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