Marlow Bridge reopens two months after lorry incident

Reporter:

James Preston

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Marlow Bridge reopens two months after lorry incident

Marlow Bridge was officially reopened to traffic this morning after being forced out of action for two months.

The historic bridge has been closed since September 24, when a lorry which was carrying more than 10 times the bridge's weight limit attempted to cross it.

Engineers have been hard at work testing for damage to the bridge since then, but gave the thumbs up for it to reopen this week.

This morning, the bridge was reopened by Bucks County Council chairman Cllr Val Letheren, who cut a ribbon before driving the Mayor, Cllr Bob Johnson, across it.

A crowd of about 100 people came down to watch the ceremony.

Cllr Letheren said: "'This is a great day for Marlow residents and traders.

"I'm so pleased we've been able to open the bridge in time for the Christmas shopping period."

Cllr Johnson added: "I'm pleased that such extensive testing has shown our bridge is safe. Now we can get on and encourage people back to shop local in Marlow and make it a bumper Christmas for the town."

The cost of testing the bridge for damage, which is expected to run into tens of thousands of pounds, will be covered by the insurers of Lithuanian haulage firm Girteka, which owns the lorry which attempted to cross the bridge.

Engineers have recommended the replacement of one of the bridge's suspension hangers and pins supporting the approach road deck, but Simon Dando, Transport for Buckinghamshire's Contract Director, said the work can be done at a later date.

He also thanked Marlow resident Robin Atkinson, a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Institution of Civil Engineers, for creating a computer model of the bridge to help speed up the time taken on testing.

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