STORMS close Sidmouth's Alma Bridge

PUBLISHED: 17:23 31 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:32 17 June 2010

DAMAGE to the material beneath its west pier has forced Devon County Council to close Alma Bridge, Sidmouth with immediate effect.

DAMAGE to the material beneath its west pier has forced Devon County Council to close Alma Bridge, Sidmouth with immediate effect.

The damage has been caused by the recent bad weather.

A precautionary inspection of the footbridge's foundations this morning (Friday) revealed a significant increase in the scour of material beneath the west pier.

This has raised concerns about the future stability of the bridge pier, particularly if the scour increases suddenly again because of the current strong river flows.

Barriers preventing access to the footbridge are being erected this afternoon.

A further detailed inspection will take place when river conditions are safer for the county council's inspection team.

The bridge will remain closed until this further assessment has been carried out.

DCC's bridge maintenance section was already aware of the vulnerability of the bridge to foundation scour.

Officers are currently designing a scheme to provide long term protection for the bridge's foundations.

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