New images reveal temporary Darley Mills bridge
Published: 27 July 2022
New images and timescales have been released for the installation of a temporary bridge at Darley Mills.
At its July meeting, the Council’s Cabinet approved the funding of the temporary bridge, after the current bridge was closed on 13 May due to serious safety concerns.
Now, it's thought that the bridge could be installed as early as September, taking just one week.
The Council does not own the bridge, and there are various legal, technical and financial issues which still need to be resolved, however since the closure, the Council has been working with bridge specialists and contractors to establish options that allow either restricted use of the existing bridge or deliver a temporary solution.
Councillor Steve Hassall, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Decarbonisation, Strategic Planning and Transportation said:
I appreciate how difficult it has been for the community and the local businesses, since the closure of the bridge. There has been a real team effort from the Council, Amanda Solloway MP, and local councillors to explore all of the potential options in the quickest possible time.
“Not only is the bridge important to the local community and park users, it also provides a critical link for many of the businesses in the Mills, so finding a safe and deliverable connection has been a priority for all involved.
Nigel Brien, Head of Traffic and Transport at Derby City Council said:
Due to the unplanned nature of this work, the Council had to start from a position where there was very little current knowledge of the existing bridge or the complications associated with building any of the potential temporary links. The process of gathering the technical details of the existing bridge, and working through possible alternatives, has therefore taken some time, but we’re really pleased to have found a possible solution.
The proposed temporary bridge is intended to go over and be totally independent of the existing bridge. “This is still subject to some final safety checks, but is possible due to an innovative design, and reassurance that although the existing bridge is weak and not fit for purpose, it doesn’t require any immediate work, such as partial demolition.
Building a temporary structure is a complex one; issues such as embankments, foundations, space, and the limits of cranes, have all had to be considered. The proposed temporary bridge is also complicated to lift, but the specialist contractor has proposed a suitable method.
Further ground testing will take place either side of the bridge, during the first week of August. If there are no unexpected complications, then work on the foundations will start as soon as possible.
The current target for the installation of the temporary bridge is week commencing 19 September, and the construction is expected to take one week.
Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Decarbonisation, Strategic Planning and Transportation, Councillor Steve Hassall added:
Financially, it’s not ideal that the Council has had to intervene – this is something that we will continue to lobby the owners on. It presents another financial pressure for us, in an already difficult time, but this is absolutely the right thing to do, in order to support the communities and the businesses in the area.
It is important to remember that this is only a short-term temporary solution, and there is still a huge amount of effort and considerable funding required to ensure that a permanent replacement for the bridge can be provided.
I am though delighted to be able to announce that something can be done in the short term.
More details on the temporary bridge will be presented at a community meeting, organised by Amanda Solloway MP, at Darley Village Hall, from 5pm today (Wednesday 27 July).