A transport boss has warned there is “more annoyance to come” as other bridges in Bristol need repairs after the Gaol Ferry Bridge is fixed. Several bridges crossing the river need urgent repairs, work on which are being staggered to avoid “piling on” the disruption. Gaol Ferry Bridge connects Southville with Wapping Wharf and is usually a major commuter route for pedestrians and cyclists, but has been shut since last summer.
The Redcliffe Bascule Bridge has also seen months of closure, and is still now only partially reopened. Several other bridges also need similar repairs, as part of Bristol City Council’s five-year programme, causing further disruption to people needing to cross the New Cut. These include the Bath Bridge roundabout, the Banana Bridge, the Bedminster Bridge roundabout, and the Vauxhall Bridge. The Avon Bridge will also need major repairs or replacement in the longer term.
The repair work is “very technical” according to Labour Councillor Don Alexander, cabinet member for transport. He told the growth and regeneration scrutiny commission, on January 25, that Bristol should expect more urgent repair work on the other bridges to come soon. He said: “These are sources of annoyance for people that we’re closing them, but actually they would have closed anyway unless we did this. They are very, very technical and major pieces of engineering, where you really don’t know what you’ve got to do until you take it apart, because they’re unique.
“We’ve got more of that coming with Sparke Evans and the Banana Bridge, and Avon Bridge is coming to the end of its life. In transport, we desperately need a solution from the city for the Western Harbour, or we need an awful lot of money to replace it as it is. “People get a bit fed up with the roadworks if you just pile it on and pile it on. Muller Road is tough for people at the moment. With Bedminster Green, people are getting quite tired of the disruption.”
By Alex Seabrook Local Democracy Reporter