Plans unveiled for Powick Old Bridge repairs after collapse - The Malvern Observer

Plans unveiled for Powick Old Bridge repairs after collapse

Malvern Editorial 10th Jul, 2024   0

PLANS have been unveiled for the repair of an historic medieval bridge in Powick which collapsed earlier this year.

The first stage of the long-term repair of Powick Old Bridge is set to begin later this summer however transport bosses have warned there will be ‘no quick fix’.

Powick Old Bridge is famous for its roles in both the first and last English Civil Wars – Battle of Powick Bridge (1642) and Battle of Worcester (1651). Built before 1447, it is a scheduled ancient monument with incredible historical significance for Worcester and the county.

Lengthy repairs will begin with a temporary ramp installed from the footway into the river channel, and a working platform created on the upstream side of the river.

The purpose of the working platform is to safeguard the collapsed area of the wingwall from further damage, and to allow the arch and abutment to be properly inspected.

Recognising the important historic nature and originality of the structure, it will also protect the damaged section from losing more material, and add support to the whole structure before the main repairs begin.

The temporary works will be followed by detailed design of a permanent reconstruction which will require further approvals ahead of final works next year.

The temporary platform will prevent water from entering the arch so that work can take place, and if the river does flood water will be diverted over the top of the platform.

This approach will also lead to a large proportion of the original stonework being reclaimed from the river bed.

The wing wall will need to be completely taken down as part of the repair process, however, the rebuild will use as much of the initial stone and brick as possible.

Councillor Marc Bayliss, Worcestershire County Council’s highways and transport chief said: “We are extremely mindful of the significance of Powick Old bridge and are determined to treat it with the care and attention that such a key historic structure deserves.

“Hopefully the installation of the temporary platform will reassure people that we are working hard to reinstate the bridge to its former glory.

“The platform will protect the damaged section of the bridge from losing more material and prevent water from entering the arch so restoration work can take place.”

“We are working alongside partners, including the Environment Agency and Historic England, to ensure we are able to repair the bridge in a way that doesn’t compromise the look of the structure.

“There isn’t a quick fix, this restoration will take time and patience to ensure that all work is carried out with the consideration that such an important bridge deserves.”

It’s hoped the arch can be saved due to its historical significance, however, to further understand the extent of the damage the arch will need to be supported.

This will require an additional temporary platform downstream of the river. There may be a need to build a steel A-Frame which will then allow the arch to be reinforced so that the bridge can be fully inspected to enable repairs to commence.


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