Published: September 14, 2007
Highbridge's Walrow railway bridge finally re-opens

The long-awaited re-opening of Highbridge's controversial Walrow railway bridge went ahead on Friday morning (September 14th).

These were the scenes as the bridge re-opened this morning when the first vehicles travelled across, abiding new width and weight restrictions.

Earlier in the morning the bridge had been alive with activity as line painters were at work along the roadway and electricians were seen busily wiring in the traffic lights.

The bridge has been shut since March 14th - exactly six months ago - amid fears about its strength.

Warning signs like the one pictured here have been introduced along Market Street and Church Street to warn motorists about the restrictions, which see width limits set at 2.1m and weight limits of three tons.

Network Rail is due to carry out strengthening work at the bridge by next Spring which should lead to the restrictions being lifted.

Burnham's MP David Heathcoat-Amory welcomed news of the re-opening, and took a swipe at Somerset County Council for taking its time.

"I am glad that at last this road has been re-opened," he told Burnham-On-Sea.com. "But sorry that it took so long for Somerset County Council to reverse its mistaken decision to block the bridge completely to vehicle traffic. It was the Conservative Group that raised it at County Hall and got a rethink after the Conservative leader Ken Maddock accompanied me on my second visit to the area and spoke to residents and trades people."

Burnham-On-Sea.com exclusively broke the news in March that the busy bridge would close due to much-needed strengthening work and since then, traders in Highbridge have seen a major downturn in trade.

These photos show the re-opening of the bridge on Friday;


RELATED LINKS:

Walrow bridge will re-open by September 14th
Car parking charges slashed in bid to help businesses
Fresh hopes for end to Walrow bridge closure
Councillors call for minister to get involved
MP visits concerned traders in Highbridge
800 angry residents sign petition over bridge closure
Councillors lead fresh bid to find solution to bridge closure
Burnham's MP vows to fight bridge closure
Busy Highbridge road bridge to shut for three years

 


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