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Engineers’ fresh look at ‘crumbling’ bridge
2:50pm Wednesday 28th March 2012 in News
COUNCILLORS were wondering if they were cracking up after being told there was nothing wrong with a crumbling village bridge they have been complaining about for years.
The bridge which carries Brookend Lane over Hatfield Brook in Kempsey, near Worcester, is showing signs of wear and tear, with cracks appearing in the stone parapet wall to either side and coping stones having fallen away.
The parish council and residents have reported the slow decline of the bridge’s appearance with increasing alarm since 2006.
Armed with fresh concerns after yet another crack appeared, county councillor Bob Bullock went to Worcestershire County Council’s highways team to have the bridge inspected for structural problems.
However, after being told there were “no problems” with the bridge he has now persuaded engineers to go back and look at it once again, he told parish councillors this week. “I had a report that an inspector went out and saw no problems, so I asked if the inspector was blind,” he said.
“I asked for a meeting with the head of council engineering contractor Halcrow following that report, but instead got a letter back saying they would go out and look at the bridge again.”
Parish council chairman Councillor John Michael said: “There are coping stones missing and there are cracks all down the side.”
During the council’s previous meeting in February one concerned resident said the bridge, which also carries heavy industrial traffic, “needed to be looked at”
because it was starting to look tired.
Jon Fraser, county council roads manager, said: “A recent inspection of Brookend Bridge showed some historic cracking in both parapets, and there are also some missing coping stones on the northern side of the bridge.
“This is to be expected in a structure of this age, and some routine maintenance work has been scheduled for summer.
“There is no evidence of any significant structural defects which would require more immediate action.
“Nevertheless, in the light of Coun Bullock’s concerns, we will take another look.”