Summer date for Alma Bridge work

Alma Bridge. Ref shs 8755-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Alma Bridge. Ref shs 8755-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Much-needed work to protect a vital link for residents living east of the River Sid could take place later this year.

Alma Bridge. Ref shs 8759-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Alma Bridge. Ref shs 8759-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

There had been concern that any repair to Alma Bridge would not take place until Sidmouth’s beach management plan was adopted - which could take five or more years.

But updating town council colleagues this week, Councillor Stuart Hughes said he had given the go-ahead for temporary protection work ahead of a £300,000 project to replace the bridge next year.

He said he was due to meet officials from the Environment Agency (EA) as well as district and county councils to draw up plans for a temporary rock armouring scheme to protect the bridge.

Cllr Hughes, Sidmouth’s county representative and Devon’s highways chief, said: “I have said to our bridge officers ‘let’s get on with it, I want to see the Alma Bridge happen’.

Designs for the new Alma Bridge

Designs for the new Alma Bridge - Credit: Archant

“Subject to overcoming quite a few hurdles, this work could be implemented during the summer/autumn this year.

“And the bridge works would then follow on next year, probably March to June 2016, although the EA may require June to September.

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“The good news is, I have given the go- ahead, and now the officers [at the county council] are preparing to submit the bridge works over the forthcoming weeks.”

Walkers are currently able to reach the eastern bank of the Sid across the temporary link.

The new footway will include features taken from the original bridge, which are in storage in Newton Abbot.

Engineers undertook work to defend the bridge and secure the cliff on the east of the river in January this year.

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