River Avon towpath at Victoria Bridge in Bath diverted until further notice
In the interests of public safety, the River Avon path in the vicinity of Victoria Bridge, Bath will be temporarily closed. Emergency works are planned for later this week to prop the bridge on both sides of the river.
The work should take a few days. Once the propping is completed and tow path considered safe, the temporary closure on the northern side will be removed and the path will be re-opened. The tow path on the south side will remain closed due to the Bath Riverside works.
Regular inspections of the bridge have been conducted by independent structural engineers appointed by Bath & North East Somerset Council to monitor its condition since the discovery of a structural fault and decision to close the bridge in October 2010.
The most recent set of inspections has increased the Council’s concern about the safety of users of the path on the north side because of the deterioration in the condition of the bridge at this section of the structure. When closed, signage and pedestrian/ cyclist diversions will be put in place.
Once the emergency works are complete and the tow path is considered safe to reopen, the Council will issue a public notification. Engineers will continue to inspect the bridge and take the actions considered necessary to protect public safety.
The Council recognises that the bridge is a key gateway to Bath Riverside and it has a significant heritage value to the city. We have been developing potential solutions to fix the problem and have been liaising with English Heritage on the permanent restoration of this technically complex, listed structure.
In December 2011, the Cabinet is due to consider a project plan to reopen the bridge with a temporary repair by summer 2012 and complete a permanent restoration by winter 2013.
First published by Bath & North East Somerset Council on 8th November 2011.