Further tests needed on stricken Marlow Bridge

Reporter:

James Preston

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Further tests needed on stricken Marlow Bridge

Photo courtesy of Bucks County Council

Further tests are set to be carried out on the stricken Marlow Bridge after a 37-tonne lorry attempted to drive over it.

Surveyors have found supports above and beneath the road surface on the bridge have been 'significantly overstressed' after the lorry, which was more than 10 times over the three-tonne weight limit, attempted to drive over it on Saturday, September 24 and forced it to close.

Engineers carried out resonance hammer tests and visual inspections and found three areas above and below the bridge deck which were causing concern.

Further investigation is set to take place this week, involving ultrasound and magnetic particle inspections, with results expected back by next week.

The analysis will help engineers assess whether parts of the bridge need to be removed for further testing, with those results set to come back within a month.

Cllr Mark Shaw, Bucks County Council's cabinet member for transportation, has previously warned the bridge could be out of action for up to six months in the 'worst case scenario'.

In a statement released today, Cllr Shaw said: "I do understand the inconvenience this means for our residents and businesses, but I do know that nothing less than the most stringent of tests and analysis would be expected of us so that we're absolutely certain about the repairs needed to get the bridge back into a safe working order.

"We've got highly experienced engineers working on these exhaustive tests, which will take some time, and I'm very sorry for the inconvenience. We're aiming to get the bridge open to vehicles as soon as possible, but my chief concerns are the safety and security of those who use it."

The bridge will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists while tests are carried out.

Lithuanian haulage firm Girteka, which owns the lorry involved, has apologised for the incident and said it is working with the council on an insurance claim. It confirmed today the driver is no longer employed by the company.

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