Work to remove Alma Bridge, Simouth starts Wednesday 20 May

Work to remove the century-old Alma Bridge in Sidmouth is set to begin tomorrow (Wednesday, May 20).
East Devon Reporter eastdevonnews.co.uk

The historic structure, which dates back to the early 1900s, was damaged during severe flooding in 2012.

A replacement is being built 40 metres upstream along the River Sid – and is on course to be finished later this summer.

Once the old bridge is removed ‘over the next few weeks’, a new viewing area will be developed with an information panel to commemorate it.

Devon County Council (DCC) says construction of the new structure has now restarted with limited numbers of staff on-site to meet government social distancing guidance.

Work had been temporarily suspended due ‘difficulties in ordering materials from supply chains’.

A concrete bridge abutment is currently being built by contractor MacPlant Construction Ltd.

Fabrication of the steel bridge and east approach ramp has also been completed off-site.

Both sections are due to be delivered ‘in the next couple of weeks’, according to DCC.

Sidmouth representative Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highway management, said: “The original Alma bridge has unfortunately started to become a bit of an eyesore so, although it will be sad to see it removed, it does need to be done, and it will illustrate that we’re moving closer to having a replacement bridge in place.

“The schedule to develop the new bridge has unfortunately been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, but every effort will be made to complete the project this summer.”

DCC says the Environment Agency has confirmed tidal flood risk will not increase once the original Alma Bridge has been removed.

The old structure was closed last month over safety concerns sparked by recent rock falls at Pennington Point.