Ponfeigh Bridge officially re-opens

Ponfeigh Bridge officially re-opened to traffic on Friday, five weeks ahead of schedule.

The new £2.4 million bridge was officially opened by Councillor John Anderson on Friday.

A vital road link, the bridge that crosses the Douglas Water has been rebuilt over seven months.

The old bridge was closed in 2016 because it had been deemed dangerous for users; it was demolished in 2019 after a defective water main caused further deterioration in its condition and rendered it unable to be repaired.

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The new £2.4 million bridge took seven months to build, with the work carried out by the council’s contractors, I & H Brown.

The construction, by the council’s contractors I & H Brown, took seven months.

The 36m single-span structure is supported by two newly constructed reinforced-concrete abutments, in line with the footprint of the existing structure. The roads on both its north and south sides have been routed to give a better approach.

The modular Delta Bridge system that was designed by Mabey Bridge Ltd and installed at Douglas Water is the first of its kind in the UK.

It was assembled on site and, in a painstaking and delicate operation that in itself took three weeks, it was launched over Douglas Water from a specially formed platform before being lowered on to the four bearing plinths.

The new bridge was officially opened for public use by Councillor John Anderson, chairman of community and enterprise resources.

He said: “It is amazing to see this project delivered so quickly and during some really challenging times.

"I am sure local people will be excited to once again have a vital transport route available to them.

“It was a blow to the community when the previous bridge became unsafe to use and I am delighted to see tremendously hard work from officers coming to fruition and improving the lives of all those who live and work in this area.

“The bridge has been designed for both vehicles and pedestrians and, with no weight restrictions on it, it really is there for use by one and all.

“I wish everyone many years of happy crossing of the Douglas Water.”

Cleghorn Bridge re-opened to traffic in August after an eight month closure.

Clyde Bridge is now out to tender, with land negotiations continuing. It is hoped construction of the new 90m crossing will start at the end of this year, with completion in late 2022.