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Give your views on Poole Bridge upgrade

Local residents and businesses are being invited to give their comments as to how they will be affected by the temporary closure of Poole Bridge and what useful temporary measures could be put in place to help minimise the disruption.

Borough of Poole will be carrying out extensive works to Poole Bridge’s approach spans from summer 2016 for approximately nine months. During this period, the bridge will be closed to all road traffic, cyclists and pedestrians. Mariners will be largely unaffected as the bridge’s lifting leaves will remain in the upright position for most of the works.

The two approach spans (the parts of the bridge that carry traffic from the land to the main lifting section of the bridge) form part of the original 1927 construction. Although they have been maintained, parts such as the concrete decks supporting the road and footways and abutments (where the road is supported as it joins the land) are worn out and need complete replacement.

John Rice, Engineering Manager, Borough of Poole, said: “The condition of the approach spans is deteriorating to such an extent that they will soon be no longer fit for purpose. So to do nothing is not an option and will result in restricted access to the bridge, initially meaning that no heavy vehicles would be able to cross, reducing in time to only allow pedestrian and cycle access and ultimately followed by the complete closure of Poole Bridge. To demolish and replace the spans is a major project and this is reflected by the lengthy bridge closure.

“We recognise that Poole Bridge being closed for nine months will cause significant inconvenience to people, especially those living and working in lower Hamworthy. It is really important for people to give us their views as it will help us plan ahead and shape the useful temporary measures that we can provide to help ease disruption.”

People can complete an online questionnaire at www.poole.gov.uk/dorsetgrowthdeal which will be available until 11 November 2015. Paper copies of the questionnaire are available at Hamworthy Library, Tourist Information at Poole Museum and Poole Central Library.

Council staff will also be at Hamworthy Library, in Blandford Road, on Wednesday 21 October 2015 between 1pm and 6.30pm to answer any questions about the scheme and offer help with completing the questionnaire.

Councillor Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: “We are fully committed to ensuring Poole continues to benefit from a two-bridge system to safeguard the future economic growth and employment opportunities in Hamworthy."
 
Julian McLaughlin, Head of Transportation Services, Borough of Poole, commented: "We have successfully secured £4.2 million to deliver this significant investment in Poole Bridge, which is part of the major works being carried out along the town’s prime transport corridor linking the Port of Poole to the A31 over the next few years.”

Dorset LEP Chairman, Gordon Page, said: "The LEP works to strategically drive long term growth and prosperity for our local businesses and area. Port of Poole is a major economic asset for Dorset, which is why the LEP has allocated Dorset Growth Deal funding for the works on Poole Bridge. The works are an important building block to ensuring that Dorset's infrastructure is up to scratch, which is a key long term objective of the LEP 's Strategic Economic Plan to support a strong local economy that the whole of Dorset can benefit from."