Bath’s Historic Cleveland Bridge Set To Reopen

Grade II* listed Cleveland Bridge in Bath is due to reopen on Monday 25 October, after being delayed for extra safety measures.

Grade II* listed Cleveland Bridge in Bath is due to reopen on Monday 25 October, after being delayed for extra safety measures, but there will be restrictions in place preventing vehicles wider than two metres from crossing while repair work continues.

Somerset Live reports that as part of a staged reopening of the bridge, access will be restricted by traffic light controls and a two-metre width restriction. Pedestrians, cyclists and cars will be permitted to cross the bridge.

But due to the nature of the work being undertaken, Bath & North East Somerset Council has said that vehicles over two metres wide including HGVs will not be able to use the route, with an exception in place for emergency vehicles, which will be able to access the bridge via a gate specifically implemented for their use.

Temporary supports have been installed under the bridge deck to allow sections of the bridge to be repaired.

Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for Transport said: “We are keen to minimise disruption and to enable a staged reopening of the bridge, so temporary supports have been installed which will allow work to continue and some traffic to cross.”

She added that HGVs must be kept off the bridge during the current critical phase of the works, which is why the two-metre restriction will one introduced from Monday 25 October. Diversion routes for all other vehicles and through traffic on the A36 via South Gloucestershire are available on the council’s Cleveland Bridge webpage.

The £3.8 million programme of works to repair and safeguard the Grade II* listed structure began in May 2021, with temporary traffic signals, before the bridge was closed to all traffic on 28 June.

The extent of the work includes repairs to the bridge deck and concrete supporting structure, along with repainting of the cast-iron arches and parapets and waterproofing to prevent future weather damage.

The project is being funded through the Government’s Highways Challenge Fund.

The bridge was due to reopen a month earlier on 25 September, but after further investigations found a need for temporary supports, which need to be designed, approved and independently checked before being submitted to the Highways Authority for approval.

Bath & North East Somerset Council said the temporary supports were critical to ensuring the safety of the bridge.

Bath MP Wera Hobhouse said: “I’m very pleased that Cleveland Bridge has partially reopened and I congratulate everyone involved in making this happen.”

She said it was a testament to the hard work of the council, and the staged reopening is ‘truly a significant milestone’ in the complicated scheme of works.

“It is noticeable that the bridge is not open to HGVs and it’s my belief that this should be permanent. Cleveland Bridge is a Grade II* listed bridge and simply cannot handle the weight of HGVs.

She concluded by saying that with Bath being designated a UNESCO World Heritage asset, as stewards, the council must work together to avoid any damage, and that Cleveland Bridge will never be suited to HGV traffic.

If you’re looking for experts in bridge repairs, come and chat with us today.