Councillors in Cumberland have approved more than £4.2 million in urgent works required to temporarily repair a bridge in Bristol after fears it could suffer catastrophic failure. There are growing safety risks with regards to the Cumberland bridge and the Cumberland Basin Complex.

The Cumberland basin was officially opened in 1965, however significant elements of the basin network are reaching the end of their design lifecycle and deteriorating at a significant rate. Significant deterioration has occurred at an accelerated rate than originally anticipated due to traffic volume exceeding originally projected capacity by 2.5 times. Currently £1m is spent annually on maintenance of the basin network. One of the key pieces of strategic infrastructure for the transportation network is the Avon Fixed Bridge, which supports the A3029 over the River Avon.

In 2015 The Bristol City council submitted a Challenge Bid for £28m to repair the overall Cumberland Basin Network. Due to inflation, that cost is now estimated to be between £40-50 million. This also forms part of a strategic development plan – The Western Harbour regeneration project. Which intends to deliver affordable homes, while modernising the wider transport network and developing a resilient flood defence system instead of simply replacing the network as is.

Despite the ongoing maintenance, the bridge is deteriorating at an accelerated rate, with an increased risk of catastrophic failure and bridge collapse. The Council have taken measures to agree to develop an active management plan, access and monitoring regime and released an additional £4.25m for urgent inspections and structural maintenance for the bridge as part of a five-year project. Whilst ongoing work towards the wider basin regeneration master plan continues.


Click here to read the BBC News Story

Click here to read the Bristol City Council Decision Pathway Report

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