Bath bridge to be demolished

A Victorian bridge in Bath that is too costly to repair looks set to be demolished. Running next to Windsor Bridge, the structure carries a pipeline that used to serve the old gas works but has been decommissioned and is redundant.

It was built in 1837 with a span of 35 metres but is corroded and plans submitted by Bath and North East Somerset Council say maintenance would be challenging and costly.

Three significant trees on the north bank of the Avon will have to be felled so it can be demolished. The proposed 12-week works are part of the wider redevelopment of the second phase of the Bath Western Riverside, where around 1,000 homes are set to be built.

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Bath bridge to be demolished

The project will also help facilitate the Bath River Line, a 10km linear park through the heart of the city, by significantly improving accessibility and safety at a key intersection.

The council said in its application to itself: “The proposals have a number of clear public benefits including the removal of a functionally redundant structure which has a long-term maintenance liability, a clear opportunity to improve the usability of the public towpath which functions as a key cycle and walking route into the city centre, and associated localised public realm and visual amenity benefits arising from the proposals.

“To retain the bridge substantial parts of its fabric would need to be removed/stabilised and re-strengthened on a period basis into the future.

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“Undertaking the works would require the creation of a safe working area, necessitate road closures and removal of existing trees and vegetation to a similar extent that would be the case for the permanent removal of the bridge. It is therefore concluded that it would be contrary to the wider public interest to retain the functionally redundant bridge.”

The council went out to tender last year to find a demolition crew to remove the bridge and another less than 150 metres away on the other side of Windsor Bridge that is also redundant.