The repairs to Sutton Harbour footbridge will continue for the coming weeks and residents and visitors to the waterfront area of Plymouth are advised that for safety reasons, the pedestrian footbridge will remain closed while the work completes.
Engineers from the Environment Agency are supporting Sutton Harbour Holdings (SHH) and using specialist testing equipment to carry out thorough checks of the footbridge’s turntable assembly, bearings and foundations.
The footbridge is a bespoke piece of equipment, fitted more than 20 years ago, and operates as an integral element of the Sutton Harbour lock gates.
The primary function of the lock gates is to reduce flood risk to the surrounding area of Sutton Harbour whilst still maintaining access for marine vessels using the harbour, therefore it is necessary for the lock gates to remain fully operational despite the footbridge repairs.
Pete Bromley, Harbour Master of Sutton Harbour, said: “We appreciate that the closure of the footbridge can be frustrating for people however we are working closely with the Environment Agency to resolve any problems.”
“Unfortunately, owing to the bespoke nature of the footbridge, this can be a time-consuming process and there can be no ‘quick fix’. The results from the recent testing are expected soon and this will give us a better understanding of the problems and the likely timescales for them to be rectified. It is difficult to estimate timescales for reopening; however, when the footbridge bearing was previously replaced, the footbridge was closed for six weeks.”
An alternative route around the harbour from the National Marine Aquarium, Rockfish and Harbour Car Park to Sutton Harbour’s historic quarter, which includes the Barbican and the Mayflower Steps, is accessible via the Harbour Heritage Trail with a footpath circling around East Quay and North Quay (see map below).