Report identifies ‘severe corrosion’ on bridge whose closure has had ‘catastrophic’ impact on communities

PUBLISHED: 19:00 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:48 27 October 2018

The bailey bridge has been closed since the beginning of October Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The bailey bridge has been closed since the beginning of October Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


A report on the condition of a footbridge which was closed on safety grounds has found it suffered “severe corrosion” – but can be reopened once “temporary measures” are completed.

Suffolk Highways closed the Bailey Bridge between Southwold and Walberswick earlier this month, saying it would not reopen until further notice.

Despite measures to minimise disruption, such as a free ferry service, the communities on either side of the river say it has caused a major inconvenience.

Mark Dober, who owns the Anchor pub in Walberswick, said: “I think everyone has underestimated what a catastrophic impact the bridge’s closure has had on the area. We’re hearing daily stories about people getting stranded on either side of the bridge – everyone has been caught offside by it.”

Suffolk Highways said had received the final 83-page report on the bridge from AECOM on Thursday, October 25.

“In summary, the report has confirmed that risks to the structure are due to the damaged timber bracing and the severe corrosion to the stringer beams which support the deck,” a spokesman said.

“Once the bracing has been repaired and temporary measures installed, where necessary, to address the weak stringer beams that support the deck there are other maintenance works identified in the report that require completing. These however are not required prior to the reopening of the bridge.”

Suffolk Highways said it was now focussed on providing a specification for the repairs to the piers and deck so that the bridge can “at the earliest opportunity”.

The specification is expected to be ready by the end of next week. In the meantime teams are investigating the availability of materials and labour as well as tide times to carry out repairs to some of the timber bracing.

“Despite the pier repairs, the bridge will remain closed until temporary measures to address the weak stringer beams are completed,” the spokesman added.

Suffolk Highways is due to meet with stakeholders next week to discuss its plans.

Mr Dorber said he expected the structural engineers to provide good reasons as to why the bridge had been closed for so long already. “Otherwise there are going to be some serious questions to answer,” he added.

Other news


A Norfolk Youth for Christ worker has taken up a new role in the Identity Youth Project in Gorleston.


Norfolk’s main roads are slowly clogging up as a record number of vehicles take to the streets.

Yesterday, 20:46

A major north Suffolk bridge has reopened after a fire had closed it to traffic.

Yesterday, 16:52

Sailor Moon, the Hulk and Spiderman will be settling into Yarmouth next year to celebrate their very own Comic Con.

Most Read

Yesterday, 20:46

A major north Suffolk bridge has reopened after a fire had closed it to traffic.

Read more
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service
Yesterday, 14:00

A new website has been launched enabling people to search their postcode and find out if they live in or near a house that once belonged to a soldier from the First World War.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:06

A 20-year-old man who went missing from the Lowestoft area has been found.

Read more
Suffolk police
Fri, 17:06

A 25-year-old man has been jailed for 14 months after he caught hiding ecstasy and cocaine inside Kinder Surprise Eggs at this year’s Latitude Festival.

Read more
Ipswich Crown Court
Wed, 14:04

A disgraced Suffolk teacher who sexually assaulted two teenage girls is facing a jail term when he is sentenced next month.

Read more
Ipswich Crown Court

Winter Wonderland


Click here to view
the Autumn


Local Weather



max temp: 11°C

min temp: 7°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today


Newsletter Sign Up

Lowestoft Journal weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy