The Rochester Bridge Trust, which owns and maintains the A2 crossings across the River Medway, has announced that it will be carrying out major maintenance to the Old Bridge balustrade that will involve closing the pedestrian access to the Old Bridge from 5 April 2010 to allow the work to take place safely.
The project will see the repair, refurbishment and repainting of the bridge’s balustrade on the upstream side. Sections of the balustrade will also need to be removed and repairs will be carried out to the steel supports. The footway will be closed for safety purposes during the works, but pedestrians will still be able to cross the river using the New Bridge. The work will be funded entirely by the Rochester Bridge Trust, without support from the public purse.
Sue Threader, Bridge Clerk of the Rochester Bridge Trust, said:
“We do not expect to have any road or lane closures as part of this work, so there should be little if any disruption to traffic across the Old Bridge. The Rochester Bridge Trust is very proud of its history of providing and maintaining the bridges at no cost to the public. The work we will be undertaking will help ensure that the Old Bridge continues to be in the best possible condition for use by the public. We anticipate that this work will be completed in December 2010.”
The Old Bridge was build with cast iron by William Cubitt in 1856 and reconfigured to its current form in 1914. The maintenance work will be undertaken by Jackson Civil Engineering under supervision from Mott Macdonald.
The Rochester Bridge Trust is a charitable trust that exists to maintain the bridges and serve the travelling public. The Trust has served the people of Kent for centuries by providing crossings over the River Medway and making charitable and educational grants. It is the only surviving bridge trust still serving its original purpose and it has served the people of Kent since 1399. The Trust derives all its assets from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries, and they are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.
The Rochester Bridge Trust comprises twelve Wardens and Assistants – three nominated by Medway Council, two by Kent County Council, one by Maidstone Borough Council, and six elected from the local area. All are unpaid.
For further information, images and comment from Sue Threader or Graham Maden of Mott Macdonald, please contact Chris Rogers on 020 7793 2536 / 07720 054189, or by email at Chris.Rogers@whitehouseconsulting.co.uk.