Issue - meetings
Meeting: 13/06/2012 - Cabinet (Item 13)
Victoria Bridge is a Grade II* Listed structure, currently on English Heritage’s schedule of structures at risk. It is a key route connecting communities, providing a safe route for school children, and a primary link for cyclists on a safe, traffic-free route between the Upper & Lower Bristol Roads. It is a major composing element of the BWR masterplan, providing both connection and an historic focal point for the new housing regeneration.
Recent structural monitoring of the bridge recorded significant cracks within critical structural members necessitating emergency works to stabilise and protect the bridge from the risk of collapse. The future permanent solution must meet a complex set of design criteria associated with heritage, engineering, safety and maintenance requirements. The Cabinet is requested to agree its preferred option and approve funding for the remainder of the project.
Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones in an ad hoc statement welcomed the indication that option 1 (to rebuild the bridge) was preferred. He asked what the likely contributions might be from external funding.
Councillor Roger Symonds replied that there would be some external funding, which might pay for the ramp. He introduced the report by explaining that there had been 9 options (listed in paragraph 5.4), which had been narrowed down to 4 for the purposes of the report, and of which option 1 was his preferred option. He congratulated officers that the bridge had now been reopened after the emergency repairs, and said that the proposals he would make would ensure the long term future of the bridge. Completion of the rebuild, if agreed by Cabinet, was anticipated in April 2014. He moved an amended motion to the effect that option 1 would be adopted.
Councillor Cherry Beath said she was very happy to second the proposals. She felt that Cabinet was addressing a difficult issue for the city. The bridge was a beautiful landmark but also was an essential route for pedestrians and cyclists.
Councillor Roger Symonds summed up by saying that some extra funding had been introduced to ensure accessible access from the towpath onto the bridge.
On a motion from Councillor Roger Symonds, seconded by Councillor Cherry Beath, it was
(1) To APPROVE the project funds to progress the project in the capital programme, with funding as outlined in the report;
(2) To AGREE that option one best meets the requirements of the brief for a permanent re-opening of the Bridge; and
(3) To APPROVE the Project Programme as set out in the report.