It is expected to be mid-November before it is known how long Marlow Bridge will be closed for.
Buckinghamshire County Council confirmed today that engineers had to order a barge to be able to assess the underside of the bridge.
The news comes as further ultrasound and magnetic particle tests carried out this week showed seven ‘areas of concern’ which required further specialist examination.
Over the next two weeks, decades worth of paint will also need to be scraped off the structure’s steelwork to have a closer look at the damage caused on Saturday, September 24, when a lorry more than 10 times the bridge’s weight restriction attempted to cross.
Tests are expected to continue to the end of the month, with the findings due to be analysed during the first full week of November.
In a current worst case scenario, repairs will require the manufacture of bespoke parts which could take up to 20 weeks to make and install.
Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Transport said: “We're taking the utmost care with our testing, which I know is exactly what residents and businesspeople in Marlow and Bisham would expect of us.
“I'm sorry that we need to close the bridge to vehicles, but the risks to engineers' safety, not to mention the potential of additional damage to the structure, make it imperative that we keep it clear of traffic until we know the extent of damage and what repairs are needed.”
Visit www.facebook.com/marlowbridgeupdates to follow updates on the status of the bridge.
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