Work on the Ramsey Swingbridge has progressed to schedule, but unfortunately the condition of part of the internal works of the bridge is worse than was expected. This means that more work than was originally planned will have to be carried out to restore the bridge to full operation. Unfortunately, the bridge will not be reopened prior to Christmas. It is hoped that the bridge works will now be completed by the end of March.
Ramsey Harbour Swing Bridge and adjoining viaduct were built by the Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Co., Darlington and were opened in 1892. Following the discovery of misalignment of the operational parts of the bridge, works commenced by the Department in September 2013 to repair the damaged and worn parts of the mechanism.
During the opening up and dismantling of the structure it became clear that the construction of the central pier is not as indicated on the record drawings and that the condition of the operating mechanism is worse than was expected. This has resulted in the need to undertake additional works to the stone pier and a re-appraisal of the works required to repair the operating mechanism.
The bridge deck was lifted earlier this month following extensive strengthening of the central stone pier and work to dismantle the operating mechanism is progressing.
The Department’s Engineers have found that the central bearing is out of tolerance and that the central section of the bridge will have to be cut out to allow replacement of the two bearings.
Following replacement of the bearings, the central section of the bridge will be reconstructed with new or repaired elements as appropriate. Repair and re-manufacture, where necessary, of the operating machinery is underway, but regretfully the additional work required to return the bridge to operation will extend the period it is out of use.
The outcome of these works will be the return of the bridge to original operating parameters but with improvements to the drainage of the central pier and the latching mechanism at either end of the bridge deck. In addition, the works will provide the ability to maintain the central bearings after completion of the works so that future works will be much more easily accomplished.
The Department of Infrastructure sincerely apologises for the continued inconvenience which is being caused by these essential works and thanks the local community for their patience.