New, ‘sloping’ replacement for Sidmouth’s Alma Bridge in 2018?

Waves wash up past Alma Bridge on Bank Holiday Monday. Ref shs 13-16SH 9371. Picture: Simon Horn

Waves wash up past Alma Bridge on Bank Holiday Monday. Ref shs 13-16SH 9371. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

The anticipated timeline of a six-figure project to replace Alma Bridge and protect Sidmouth from flooding has been revealed.

Councillor Stuart Hughes last week got the scheme into a six-year funding programme which is set to begin in 2017.

Devon County Council (DCC) plans to replace Alma Bridge with a sloping structure 55 metres upstream that will link to a realigned Hanger Path. The ramp will also form a sea defence wall to protect Sidmouth’s eastern town from flooding.

Cllr Hughes, ward member for Sidmouth and Devon’s flooding chief, said: “We now need to prepare a project proposal form with the aim of achieving about [a] 110 per cent partnership funding score, to give confidence that it will go through OK. Our bridge engineer’s programme suggests a construction start date of August 2017, so we have time to achieve the relevant notices and gain the funding approval sign-off.

“We are still at the preliminary design stage and there is a lot of work to do including consents and planning permission.

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“We are also mindful of the Port Royal developments and are liaising with East Devon District Council.”

Cllr Hughes said work is expected to be completed by August 2018. The whole scheme will cost between £500,000 and £750,000.

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Sidmouth Town Council has backed the project in principle and pledged between £10,000 and £20,000. The scheme has also had the expressed support of Natural England chairman Andrew Sells.

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