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Your Borough Of Poole

Poole Bridge Approach Spans

View the revised lifting schedule for Twin Sails Bridge during Poole Bridge improvement works.

What’s happening?

The approach spans, ie the parts of the bridge that carry traffic from the land to the main section of the bridge (the green copper towers), are over 85 years old. Despite regular maintenance, the spans were worn out and needed complete replacement.

Essential works to Poole Bridge started in September 2016. Works were originally due to take around nine months but the construction of the Hamworthy abutment has been a challenge with a number of significant unchartered underground obstructions. It is anticipated it will re-open later this year, 2017.

View the timelapse video of Poole Bridge works.

Will access to the bridge and lifting times be maintained?

Throughout the entire works period Poole Bridge will be closed to all road traffic, cyclists and pedestrians (we are removing the spans completely, right down to the support posts that sit on the sea-bed) so all traffic will be diverted across Twin Sails Bridge. 

Mariners will be largely unaffected because the bridge’s lifting leaves will be left in an open position for most of the works. This also means the Twin Sails Bridge will not have to lift as often, although a revised lifting schedule for Twin Sails Bridge will be in place.

Why is the work needed?

Doing nothing will result in access restrictions on Poole Bridge. Initially no heavy vehicles would be able to cross, reducing in time to only allow pedestrian and cycle access, prior to a full closure.

The Council, however, is committed to ensuring Poole continues to benefit from a two-bridge system to safeguard the future economic growth and employment opportunities in Hamworthy and has been awarded funding from the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (DLEP) to deliver this scheme.

How much will it cost?

To ensure Poole continues to benefit from a two-bridge system, £4.2 million has been successfully secured to deliver the work (£3.8M from the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, with the remainder funded by Poole Council). This money will cover the essential works to replace the worn out bridge spans and their supports. However, we also have a number of additional aspirations we hope to deliver to celebrate the bridge’s locally listed towers and increase user safety on the bridge itself. You can read about these in the document to the right of this page.

How is the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (DLEP) involved?

The DLEP manages the Government’s funding streams. The funding came from the Growth Deal programme and is designed to help drive Dorset’s economic growth, improve housing, and create more highly skilled jobs around Dorset, in particular the Port of Poole as one of the county’s key assets and its regeneration area.

Other Poole transport improvement schemes funded by the DLEP will include:

  • Improving Gravel Hill, Poole’s prime transport corridor to the Port of Poole. Projects include: Queen Anne Junction, Gravel Hill Embankment, Darby’s Corner.
  • Poole town-side access and movement to improve the highway network south of the railway to the two lifting bridges.

What you told us - public engagement

In Oct/Nov 2015 we asked for feedback on our proposals and any useful, temporary arrangements we could consider providing to help minimise the disruption. We understand the short term impact will cause inconvenience to people, businesses and organisations in the area.

The results of the feedback, in the document to the right, were presented to the Transportation Advisory Committee in January 2016.

People were able to give their views by:

  • Responding to a paper or on-line feedback form.

  • Attending a public drop-in session at Hamworthy Library.
  • Writing to the Head of Transportation Services.

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