News - Throop Footbridge Crossing Update, Bournemouth

NEW - 7th March 2012 // LAST UPDATED - 18th October 2013

UPDATED - 18th October 2013
Showing Completion of Ramp on New Throop Weir Bridge Crossing, Bournemouth 2
Showing Completion of Ramp on New Throop Weir Bridge Crossing, Bournemouth 3
UPDATED - 16th October 2013

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
15th October 2013
RE: Throop Bridge

Showing Completion of Ramp on New Throop Weir Bridge Crossing, Bournemouth 1

Showing Completion of Ramp on New Throop Weir Bridge Crossing, Bournemouth

John.

Having now just returned from the bridge and seeing the completed job, the new surface as far as I can see is perfect, I must thank you for the speed and action taken to undertaken this work.

Again everyone I meet loves the new bridge, we just now await hopefully to seeing some time improvements to the paths to Pig-Shoot Lane. And Bournemouth's section for a path around Hicks Farm.

But meantime thanks to all involve at Dorset County Council.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from John Burridge - Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
14th October 2013
Throop Bridge

Richard, John, Ron

Apologies for not replying sooner to your emails regarding Throop Bridge. I was waiting to be able to give you some positive news.

The material used on the ramp should have contained more fine material to bind it together. The problems that this has caused should now be a thing of the past. It has taken longer than I had hoped but the new ramp has today been surfaced with tarmac. Coincidentally, the chargehand on site has reported that the ramp was successfully tested by a person on a mobility scooter who then crossed the bridge, turned right and did not return.

There is still some tidying up to be done to fencing and paths. This will be done next week when the gang will be splitting their time between Throop and tidal work in Christchurch.

Regards,
John Burridge,
Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council

UPDATED - 29th September 2013

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to John Williamson - Rights of Way Officer, Dorset County Council
26th September 2013
FW: Near Completion of Weir Bridge Throop By Dorset County Council

Ramp - Weir Bridge, Bournemouth

Ramp - Weir Bridge, Bournemouth

John.

Thanks for your detailed response to Richard, yesterday had a site meeting with Richard Parfitt from Dorset County Council, arranged through John Burridge, also following this email will forward my photo taken which just totally confirms all what you have said regarding the present material for this ramp. And pleased that you agree it is totally unacceptable form of material for any wheelchair access, let alone elderly folk out to enjoy this wonderful part of our Stour and seeing the great work put in by Dorset in the new bridge, which was designed as we know to make life much easier for all.

John yes it must be tarmac of a porous material with hopefully in time with Bournemouth plans for an upgrade/new path through Hicks Farm, at present we only have via Throop Mill and over the small Weir bridge making life somewhat difficult for all at times, This treatment please SOONER THAN LATER, also yes we discussed also the drop from the bridge on the other side, know Richard was to report back.

Interesting you make the comments regarding Horses, on site this was raised by a walker, myself have not seen any horse riders BUT totally agree that any use of this bridge is unacceptable and dangerous as well, including the VERY narrow path leading towards Pig-Shoot.

Like I have said I am often over the Stour and have not seen any evidence of misuse, but will copy in Sophia so she is aware of this issue.

John with the approve of our section of Berry Hill application for removing Tankers away from Broadway lane and Village we have through Wessex Water an agreement for a Financial 106 contribution to which it will be apportioned between Bournemouth and Dorset towards the provision of enhance public access links from Throop and North Bournemouth to Hurn across the Stour, it is up to officers as to where best this funding should be best allocated, myself prefer it at the new Bridge to improve access and path leading to Pig-Shoot.

FINALLY MUST ADD THIS IS ALL HOPEFULLY THAT DORSET COUNTY COUNCIL WILL APPROVE THEIR SECTION OF THE PLANNING APPLICATION WHEN IT IS CONSIDERED IN NOVEMBER FOR BERRY HILL.

Have copied in some of our officers and portfolio holders more so for their information as they all like hearing from me!!!

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 5th September 2013

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Bournemouth Councillors and Council Officers
4th September 2013
New Throop Weir Bridge

Dear All.

New Throop Weir Bridge Completed, Bournemouth 3

New Throop Weir Bridge Completed

Photos taken today of the near completion, bridge open as you can see to walkers / cyclists, just a few finishing touches as one can see from the pictures. It was been a long campaign, more so when we lost that Sustrans monies in Jan 2011 when sadly when a range of ongoing difficulties the partners had reluctantly agreed to withdraw the Pig-Shoot bridge crossing [connect 2] this then caused real problems for all the horse riders in the Bournemouth side of the river. That crossing was to be vital in reinstating the historical Pig-Shoot link which as to then report from County said "A wider network of traffic-free paths and quiet roads to link the communities on both sides of the river to the airport and open access forestry land and improve access into Bournemouth,".

Never the less we now have this wonderful bridge, so again my thanks to Dorset County Council who funded a major part of the construction with help from Bournemouth, it is so nice to see at least one project in Throop, pity the same cannot be said about the Mill, we now look forward to improved access from Hicks Farm to the new bridge as the existing path behind the Mill is far from disabled friendly.

And as the Cycling forum have said, "the path on the north to Pig-Shoot lane need proper drainage and bound surface as in within the Stour way."

Again thanks to all who have given me that extra help. Have copied in our Mayor who has taken a great interest in Throop issue.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

New Throop Weir Bridge Completed, Bournemouth 1
New Throop Weir Bridge Completed, Bournemouth 2
UPDATED - 22nd August 2013

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Ian Kalra, Transportation Services Manager, Bournemouth Council
21st August 2013
Near Completion of Weir Bridge Throop By Dorset County Council (Photo)

Ian,

Near Completion of Weir Bridge Throop

Near Completion of Weir Bridge Throop

Photo I have taken of the near completion of the Weir bridge, understand from Dorset County Council that they are likely of celebrating the opening ceremony around the 6th September, they say they are now unlikely to open bridge by 23rd, but the bridge could be open before the official ceremony.

Have told Dorset County Council that whatever am extremely grateful for all the support I had received over the past years now to see this magnificent structure in place, am hoping that our officers in leisure can finalize the route to this bridge through the land adjacent which is part of Hicks Farm to make it easier for disabled / wheelchair as the only route being via Throop Mill is somewhat difficult and certainly not disabled friendly, especially as Dorset County Council designed this bridge to be 2.0m to cater for cyclists / wheelchair users, and have undertaken to clear much of the overgrowth of vegetation alongside the river on their side of the river.

Know that both ED / Stuart are seriously looking at this option for a new route to connect to this bridge.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 26th July 2013

Photos - New Footbridge in Progress over River Stour

New Footbridge in Progress over River Stour, Bournemouth 1
New Footbridge in Progress over River Stour, Bournemouth 2
New Footbridge in Progress over River Stour, Bournemouth 3
New Footbridge in Progress over River Stour, Bournemouth 4

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
25th July 2013
RE: Throop Gauging Weir Replacement Footbridge - Update

Richard.

Thank you, am impressed by the work so far and have been taking fortnightly photos of its progress all one now wants to see is action taken to see from the footbridge bridge, some clearance alongside the river [footpath] of overgrowth of vegetation to Pig-Shoot lane, in the interest of risk strategy and number of young walkers etc.

Otherwise my thanks to County and its staff for the help on getting this old 50 year plus wooden structure replaced.

Councillor Ron Whittaker [PLEASE PASS ON MY THANKS]

E-mail from Richard Parfitt - Engineer, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
25th July 2013
Throop Gauging Weir Replacement Footbridge - Update

Dear All,

You may be aware that work is currently underway to replace the old timber footbridge at Throop Gauging Weir. I wanted to give everyone involved a quick update with what has been completed so far, and what remains outstanding.

A scaffold has been errected across the gauging weir which will be removed, along with the temporary footbridge, once the new bridge is open. The old timber bridge has been removed along with the concrete bankseats on the north and south banks. The new reinforced concrete bankseats have been cast as well as modifications to the existing concrete piers to allow for the new wider bridge. The new steelwork main beams and bracing have been installed and work is currently underway to install the parapet.

Works outstanding include installing the deck and non-slip surfacing, bearings and various other minor items of steelwork. Once this is complete we have a small amount of fencing and footpath work that has resulted from the increased width of the bridge. I anticipate at this stage that the bridge will be open to the public on 23rd August.

Regards,
Richard Parfitt
Engineer, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council

UPDATED - 27th June 2013

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Michael Rowland - Parks Development Manager, Bournemouth Parks, Bournemouth Council
26th June 2013
Photos

First Stage - Removal of the old 60 year wooden weir bridge structure River Stour

First Stage - Removal of the old 60 year wooden weir bridge structure River Stour

Michael.

Photo taken of the first stage of the removal of the old 60 year wooden weir bridge structure by Dorset County Council, showing the existing temporary bridge alongside, over the coming weeks the new wider structure will be fully in place, some time ago it was mentioned that the authority might be looking to make access to the new Weir Bridge via a new path through the gate via Hicks Farm, the only access as we know is via the rear of Throop Mill, not to easy for disabled and cyclists.

Are there any plans or thinking on these lines please?

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 23rd May 2013

Press Release from Dorset County Council

New bridge will replace well-used Footbridge

The existing footbridge at Throop weir will be demolished at the end of this month (28 May). It has been closed since last summer, due to its poor condition. The main support beams had deteriorated to an unacceptable level and the safest course of action is to dismantle it.

A temporary crossing has been in place for the last nine months and will continue to be used while the work is taking place.

The construction of a new bridge, on the same site as the old one, will take eight weeks to complete. This project will cost £400,000 and is being funded by Dorset County Council and Bournemouth Borough Council. The Councils are drawing the money from the government funded Local Transport Plan and the Environment Agency are also contributing to the cost.

Cllr Ron Whittaker, said:

"The temporary footbridge has been well-used. We are looking forward to getting the new bridge and we're delighted that it will be wider allowing people using this busy crossing to pass on the bridge."

John Burridge, Chief engineer, bridge management for Dorset County Council, said:

"There may be short periods of disruption to allow for the manoeuvring of construction vehicles, delivery of material and the operation of cranes, but we will try to keep this to a minimum."

For more information about travelling in Dorset visit www.dorsetforyou.com/travel-dorset

UPDATED - 20th May 2013

E-mail Reply from John Burridge
20th May 2013
RE: Throop Weir Footbridge - Good News

Temporary Scaffold Footbridge Over River Stour 1

Temporary scaffold footbridge adjacent to wooden Weir Bridge.

Dear Cllr Whittaker

I sent some bullet points to our communications team last week for them to work up to a press release, which I hope will go out later this week.

We have a meeting on Wednesday this week to look at the programme of all our bridge construction projects. If nothing changes the work to remove the old bridge will start on 28 May 2013 and I would expect the new bridge to open, on the same line as the old bridge, around 8 weeks later.

Regards
John Burridge
Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to John Burridge - Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council
18th May 2013
RE: Throop Weir Footbridge - Good News

Temporary Scaffold Footbridge Over River Stour 2

Temporary scaffold footbridge adjacent to wooden Weir Bridge.

John.

Being over the Stour area on Saturday, enjoying one of our rare sunny days, wonder how preparations are going for the replacement bridge, also as to its position. Will it be on the same structures as the old Weir Bridge, which one presumes will be demolished before work starts, any update appreciated, thanks.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 4th March 2013

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
28th February 2013
RE: Throop Weir Footbridge - Good News

John.

Thanks for getting back, with the new start date which I can report tonight at Forum.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply from John Burridge
28th February 2013
RE: Throop Weir Footbridge - Good News

Dear Cllr Whittaker

My aim to start work in April was an aspiration and realistically meant sometime early in the new financial year. Currently,the design calculations are in the checking stage and the draft drawings are being produced. I have reviewed our programme with the designers and operations team and I would say we will start work on site in June.

Regards
John Burridge
Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to John Burridge - Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council
25th February 2013
RE: Throop Weir Footbridge - Good News

John.

We have our Area Forum on Thursday, and knowing the substantial ongoing interest in the proposals for the new footbridge planned for reconstruction in April, can i please be reassured the timetable remains the same please, and again thanks.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 4th March 2013

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
28th February 2013
RE: Bournemouth Cycling Forum meeting Tuesday 5th. March at 6pm. Agenda

David,

None of this deals with the existing problems of the present poor conditions of the two paths when one has crossed over the present Weir, naturally when we lost the lottery funds [Sustrans] for Pig-shoot which would have given us that vital link, by the bridge for cyclist / walkers and yes horses, we need to constraint one mind on how do we all improve the access arrangements into Dales Lane or Pig-Shoot.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from David Mansfield, Secretary, Bournemouth Cycling Forum
27th February 2013
Bournemouth Cycling Forum meeting Tuesday 5th. March at 6pm. Agenda

Dear Cllr. Ron,

John Hayter and I are hoping to increase support for the Throop crossing by engaging with Bournemouth Hospital and J P Morgan cycling groups (as previously mentioned by e-mail) and Christchurch and East Dorset District Council who are improving several cycling routes including Tricketts Cross to Parley Lane. The other line of attack could be to promote a link National Cycle Network (NCN) route joining NCN 2 at Christchurch/Iford with NCN25 at Wimborne. I apologize to Kevin if this is already on the table.

I will send out minutes of the Forum as quickly as possible to keep you updated.

Kind regards,
David Mansfield,
Secretary, Bournemouth Cycling Forum

UPDATED - 22nd October 2012

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
19th October 2012
RE: Throop Weir Footbridge - Good News

John,

This such good news, the temporary bridge is being well used so my thanks once again to Dorset County Council and Bournemouth, the Environment-Agency and others in ensuring the work to secure the additional funding for the wider span to the new bridge next year.

Look forward to seeing the press release.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from John Burridge - Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council
19th October 2012
Throop Weir Footbridge - Good News

All

I am pleased to say that all the funding is now in place to reconstruct the footbridge at a width of 2.0m. This will allow people using this busy crossing to pass on the bridge.

The bulk of the cost, equivalent to replacing the bridge on a like-for-like basis at a width of 1m, will be funded from the Local Transport Plan Bridge Maintenance Allocation. The additional cost of the extra width on the bridge is being met by additional contributions from the Local Transport Plan split equally between Dorset County Council and Bournemouth Borough Council. The Environment Agency will also make a contribution in accordance with the maintenance agreement signed when the weir was constructed.

We aim to start work on site in April 2013. It is my intention to prepare a press release to report this good news next week.

The old bridge has been closed and pedestrians are now using a temporary scaffold bridge.

Regards
John Burridge
Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council

UPDATED - 12th October 2012

The temporary bridge is now fully open, alongside is the existing Weir Bridge now closed, plans are being worked on for the new bridge structure by Dorset County Council, which hopefully will be in place next summer, 2013.

UPDATED - 24th August 2012
Temporary Scaffolding Replacement of Existing Weir Bridge - Near Completion

Temporary Scaffolding Replacement of Existing Weir Bridge
Near Completion

Have been taken regular photos of the work being undertaken for the Temporary scaffolding bridge by SW scaffolding over the past month, this Temporary Bridge will shortly replace the existing 50 plus year old wooden bridge where rot has penetrated the main timber elements are in a very poor condition.

I grateful for the support I have received from Dorset County to my endless calls for a replacement, it was hoped to have the former footbridge from the A35, Christchurch by-pass, but due to a number of technical issue it was not possible, so at the meeting in May with officers they agreed to proved this Temporary Bridge, and hopeful next or 2014, meantime funding is to be sought from the Local Transport Plan Maintenance allocation by County, but am trying to secure additional funding from Bournemouth as we are by far the main beneficiaries from using this one and only river crossing.

We have hundreds of walkers / cyclist over week-end and as many throughout the summer.

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to John Burridge - Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council
23rd August 2012
FW: Temporary Scaffolding Replacement Weir Bridge Photos

John.

Have been taking regular pictures of the progress of the Temporary Bridge construction, works being undertake by SW, they have worked extremely hard, am impressed.

The picture bottom left is taken yesterday, looks like near completion.

Can I again thank Dorset for the support you have given me on this issue, am aware the need for a permanent replacement in 2014, and pressing our officer in Bournemouth to help from our own Local Transport Plan as majority of those using the bridge are from the Bournemouth area, and clearly the new bridge does need to be designed as a wider bridge as shown in the options previously circulated.

These pictures were taken my 20 year year old Canon Sureshot camera, film developed at Boots.

Hope all like the progress.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 2nd August 2012
Temporary Scaffold Footbridge Over River Stour 1

Temporary scaffold footbridge adjacent to wooden Weir Bridge.

Temporary Scaffold Footbridge Over River Stour 2

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Bournemouth Daily Echo
1st August 2012
New Temporary Footbridge

Cllr Sue has taken these two pictures for me, they show the works now being undertaken on the temporary scaffold footbridge, adjacent to the existing wooden 50 plus year old Weir Bridge.

Over the past two plus years have had many correspondence with County Hall who are responsible for all bridges within the County, in May they confirmed that deterioration was continuing, inspection detects rot greater at critical locations and before winter it would be closed.

With this being the only river crossing within the area and well used by hundreds weekly by cyclists / walkers to this lovely part of the River Stour, meantime the bridge we were hoping for from the A35, Christchurch By-Pass was dampened due various factors, [this bridge was taken to another part of the county] my other concerns was in March, told by Dorset that the replacement project for Throop had been deferred until 2013/14, this then lead to ongoing emails as one fully recognise that this bridge would not survive another winter, hence agreement for this well planned temporary footbridge, which comes as a LIFESAVER TO HUNDREDS OF VISITORS TO THE AREA.

It is planned to have a permanent structure built in 2013/14 with a number of options costing between £300k to £410k, Dorset will fund but will be looking to have support from Bournemouth to help with any additional funding for the enhancement in width.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 26th July 2012

E-mail from Roger Beaven - Project Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
24th July 2012
RE: Throop Bridge Replacement - update 23.07.12

All

The erection of the temporary footbridge should have started yesterday. A colleague is visiting the location today and hopefully a short note on progress etc should be available later today or tomorrow.

I attach a copy of the site notice, already in place onsite, for your record. Further noticing plus barriers will be in place once we change the access arrangements over to the new bridge.

Roger Beaven
Project Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council

E-mail from Ed Alexander, Contract Manager, Bournemouth Parks to Councillor Ron Whittaker
23rd July 2012
RE: Throop Bridge Replacement - update 23.07.12

Dear Cllr Whittaker,

I have not had any details of the bridge (plans etc) as this is a Dorset County Council project, perhaps my colleagues in Dorset can assist with this request. The ground has been drying out well, still a couple of wet spots but hopefully access will not be so much of a problem now.

Regards
Ed Alexander, Contract Manager, Bournemouth Parks

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Ed Alexander, Contract Manager, Bournemouth Parks
23rd July 2012
RE: Throop Bridge Replacement - update 18.07.12

Ed

As we have now long last perfect weather and how the ground is drying out, our plans in place this or next week for the temporary works for the bridge replacement.

More so as we need to give as much advanced notice of the existing Weir Bridge closure I would presume. also if we have any drawing of the temporary replacement which is so could i have a copy, and any details of the positioning to the existing bridge please,

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 2nd July 2012

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
1st July 2012
RE: Throop Bridge Replacement - Progress Report

John.

Thank you for what is a very detailed and comprehensive report. I have copied in the relevant Bournemouth officers and Portfolio Holder, including Andrew Murray from Bournemouth Airport, and Kevin Humphreys, [Sustrans, as we lost that £300,000 for Pig-shoot elsewhere as we know].

Having said all of that, am grateful that plans seem hopefully in place for a start end of the month for the temporary bridge. You explain in detail the possibility to extend the the width of the bridge on its existing alignment to spread the load of a wider bridge, that sounds very practical if such also then saves in project costs, my only question on that I presume means that the existing structure is removed completely for the replacement. If so can one have some idea of the timetable that the bridge would be out of use, I ask that question naturally due to summer then holidays, [but in no way would I want any delay to the works].

Now as you so rightly have indicated you will be seeking access and relevant permission, from this the only short route to the site is VIA HICKS FARM OF THROOP ROAD, Dave Male is the council tenant farmer, so have copied in Ed Alexander and the Head of Leisure [and many other things], Gary Josey a great can do officer, I KNOW BOTH WILL ENSURE THAT ACCESS IS MADE AVAILABLE.

Also copied in Ian Kalra, as hoping also Bournemouth with possible others can help to some of the costs from our own local transport plan, as most using the crossing with bikes / walkers are from within the Bournemouth area. I fully recognise the help / support I have received from Dorset County Council over past years, more so on this issue, so will now expect officers to respond to the issues I have raided and with my chairman's approval will request if a short response could be given to my email at Bournemouth's Environment and Transport panel on the 10th.

Please keep me informed as much as possible please John.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from John Burridge - Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
29th June 2012
RE: Throop Bridge Replacement - Progress Report

Councillor Whittaker

In reply to your enquiry, I am now in a position to update you on progress with regard to this project.

The temporary footbridge quotes have been received. We have tentatively set a date for installation starting on 23 July 2012 and expect the temporary bridge to be in place for approximately 12 months. As you have pointed out we will need to gain access and will be seeking the relevant permissions very shortly. In respect of gaining the Flood Defence Consent our early discussions with the Environment Agency prompted them to raise a number of queries. These were addressed in our formal application for consent and we anticipate we will receive the consent before the proposed start date.

We are still considering our options for a replacement bridge and have produced some further estimated costs. We have previously stated that the most likely option was to build a new bridge just downstream of the existing bridge thinking that the alignment would be no more than 3m from the existing. From some survey work that has been done it appears that this would in reality be nearer 6m to avoid underwater sections of the existing structure. This adds further to the cost as we would need to link back to the existing weir to satisfy the Environment Agency's operational requirements. On the positive side, we have established that the Environment Agency no longer require the control mechanism in the central section of the weir and it can be removed. This gives us scope to extend the width of the bridge on its existing alignment and spread the load of a wider bridge over a longer length of the existing supporting walls. We are currently assessing whether, or not, this is feasible. If it proves possible then it will represent a considerable saving in project costs.

Project costs such as time spent to date examining options, consultation and the cost of installing the temporary scaffold are common to all options. These costs would ordinarily be funded by Dorset County Council from the Local Transport Plan maintenance allocation for bridges as would a like-for-like replacement. The estimates below include these common costs, the design for each option, construction and supervision.

Option 1:
Online 2.0m wide replacement (1.4m parapets) £410k

Option 2:
Offline 2.0m wide replacement (1.4m parapets) £625k

Option 3:
Online 1.1m wide replacement (1.4m parapets) £300k

In summary, we have the funds to progress Option 3 replacement at the existing width on the same line but have not yet confirmed any sources of additional funding for the enhancement in width. The additional funding we are looking for is optimistically £110k if widening on the existing line proves feasible, or, if we have to move downstream £325k.

Regards
John Burridge
Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council

UPDATED - 26th June 2012

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
21st June 2012
RE: Footbridge at Throop Gauging Weir

John.

Is any update on progress in securing this temporary replacement bridge, and as to any further inspections since our last communication, as i have said to Bournemouth officers we all need here to be working together to ensure that this bridge is in place before the worsening winter conditions are with us.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 23rd May 2012

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
22nd May 2012
RE: Footbridge at Throop Gauging Weir

John.

Further to our detailed conversation yesterday on the general deterioration to the existing main wooden Weir Bridge at Throop, which as you know and others I have had some endless ongoing correspondence over the past years highlighting this REAL fear that if we don't get a replacement structure in place. So your findings comes as no SURPRISE to me, only that the rate of deterioration is even worse than I had feared.

A few clarifications on the notes John. 3.3/3.4, makes reference to Wessex Water proposals for a access road and Bridge from the Berry Hill Treatment Works, this proposal has as you know much opposition coming from Hurn Parish. Like the Bridleway Crossing via Pig-Shoot, including then the landowner, sadly we lost the lottery fund [£300,000] from Sustrans, and funding from Dorset County Council, due to what County said was a "high risk strategy", also even before the Pig-Shoot crossing we had four routes looked at to replace the present structure via at the existing Weir Bridge, again all these were opposed by Hurn Parish members, including a three page letter from Hurn Parish dated 19th February 2007.

Please here don't get confused with the two options as they are entirely different, Berry Hill is about removing all tanker movements that travel from all parts of Dorset and Hampshire via Broadway Lane, through the Throop Village [Conservation area] into and out of Berry Hill, Wessex Water also I understand wish to increase the number of visits, at present they are naturally restricted on number via Throop Village, secondly you refer to a "shared use of crossing", we know that WESSEX WATER ARE A STATUTORY UNDERTAKER AND NOT A DEVELOPER, therefore any bridleway parallel but would have to be segregated from the proposed bridge/access road, and as to WHO and where are the funds to come from.

So please the replacement to the existing Weir Bridge must be totally considered separately to that of the Berry Hill treatment plant and application, which as you know has been put back many months due to ongoing issues with Hurn Parish and the three adjoining land owners.

John you make reference to access arrangement 2.6. Naturally any arrangement has to be via Hicks Farm so am copying in the relevant officers in Bournemouth so they can speak to our tenant at Hicks Farm, Dave Male, as clearly as the COUNTY are to replace the existing Bridge by a Temporary bridge that I WANT FULL CO-OPERATION FROM OUR SIDE.

I THINK THAT I HAVE COVERED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, BUT I HAVE TO STRESS WE CANNOT 1.5 SEE THE PRESENT BRIDGE CLOSED WITHOUT THE TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT IN PLACE, as your notes so clearly have identified the very large numbers of users per day, this is our only link across the Stour Valley so in view of my endless warning regarding the condition please ensure that works start as soon as possible during the now better weather.

John I have also copied in officers from Wessex Water,

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from John Burridge - Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
21st May 2012
Footbridge at Throop Gauging Weir

The footbridge at Throop Gauging Weir across the Stour is in poor condition. I attach the notes of a meeting held last week to discuss the future of the bridge.

The meeting was between Dorset County Council officers responsible for maintenance of bridges and rights of way. Also, present were officers with knowledge of wider aspirations with regard to the transport network and of possible alternative sources of funding in addition to general maintenance budgets. Bournemouth Borough Council were represented by their Rights of Way Officer.

Regards

John Burridge - Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council

UPDATED - 8th May 2012

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Andrew Murray - Group Principal Planner at Manchester Airports Group
7th May 2012
RE: Throop Bridge

Throop Bridge 1

General poor condition of Wooden Weir Bridge Structure.

Throop Bridge 2

Andrew.

Further to our conversation after last weeks meeting at Bournemouth Airport, and my reference to the existing Wooden Weir Bridge Structure over the river Stour at Throop, as you can see from my two photos of its general poor condition, we are hoping that this year the County Council would have had plans to replace, but it has now been put back until 2013/14, as you can see from the photos I have taken that a number of the deck boards and sections of the hand rails have had to be replaced, county admits that the current annual cost is rising in maintenance. With the lost of funding for the alternative River Crossing at Pig-Shoot, this is the ONLY NOW river crossing for the whole length of the Stour River, this Crossing is used by hundreds daily through-out the summer months, we talk of having a cycle route to the airport, we don't, that was the dream of winning the lottery bid of £300,000, and Dorset were putting in £250,000, plus Bournemouth, again due to endless objections from Hurn Parish we lost the funds, so we are left with a very ageing Wooden bridge structure, which is a lifeline to so many visitors/cyclists in this area.

You made reference to how much the airport have CONTRIBUTED IN LOCAL FUNDING TO TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE. That is why I have now made my request if the Airport could in any future contributions please insist that a section of any further contribution should be made to support the early replacement of the Existing Weir Bridge at Throop Weir, as this link has a direct and only link into the Hurn parish area, and the Airport.

Really hope my appeal does not fall onto deaf ears as one only has to look at this condition to realise that a replacement is so urgently needed.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 12th April 2012
UPDATED - 10th April 2012

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to John Burridge, Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council
7th April 2012
RE: Throop Crossing

Throop Footbridge River Crossing

John.

Please forgive me once again coming back to you over the general condition of our existing and only bridge across the Stour River at Throop Weir.

This week-end has seen hundreds of walkers/cyclist using the bridge to enjoy this so lovely section of our countryside. and although i cannot really add much more to our ongoing correspondence, one is extremely mindful that much of this wooded 50 plus year old bridge is as you have said "deteriorating and maintenance costs are rising". one can see all of this by sections of the existing handrail and all the deck boards which are showing much wear, appreciate you have replaced a number but time is telling and think most now need to be replaced if we are talking of reconstruction in 2013/4. another two years.

I touched on in my email below of the issue around Berry Hill and the work that WW ARE UNDERTAKING IN DESIGN WORKS FOR A NEW ACCESS ROAD AND BRIDGE, across the Stour with a link into Parley lane, again this project as i have already mention below has generated the SAME OBJECTIONS from surprise, surprise Members of Hurn Parish, as i have already pointed out in my email 7th, there objections were against any routing over the river under any circumstances, as they said at a meeting organised by Wessex Water, "they liken the River Stour as their BERLIN WALL, which kept out public access from BBC SIDE.

Berry Hill collects Sludge from all sections of DORSET AND YES HAMPSHIRE, residents of Throop village, [A conservation area] like properties in Broadway lane and the adjoining MUSCLIFF Primary have some 40 daily 12 wheel tankers in and out of the Treatment works, all this traffic has to travel through one of the most busiest of all roads in the COUNTY. SO PLEASE DON'T LET THE ISSUE OF BERRY HILL SIDE TRACK the real need to upgrade the existing wooden bridge at Throop Weir, If Hurn Parish get their way they will again SCUPPER the bridge and bridleway link at Berry hill. more so any delays in replacing this weir bridge cannot wait another two years or more.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
7th March 2012
RE: Throop Crossing

John.

Can i thank you for your very detail explanation and more so on the issues as to why the Burton road bridge was not going to be suitable in Throop for equestrian use, yes this was very disappointing news.

You have made reference to the ongoing discussions in the third section of the email appertaining to Wessex Water treatment works at Berry Hill, consideration is being given to a new access road via a Bridge to connect into Parley lane B3073. please here lets not get the two options confused, the work on Berry Hill is about getting the existing 12 wheel tankers away from the Throop village area, as you know the Sludge that comes into Berry Hill come from around the County ,including Hampshire, it was in 2009 that after much complaints and pressure that Wessex Water produce a business plan for a pipeline and it received support then from Ofwat to consider all costs/benefits associated with the pipeline, over the past two years much work has been done by staff/ officers at Wessex Water and the best option arrived at was for a bridge, THIS BEING FOR TANKERS ONLY AND NOT A PUBLIC HIGHWAY, naturally if we can in the detail design of the scheme which is being planned have a scheme that can bring forward a Bridleway parallel to but segregated from the proposed road, as i believe WW are looking at this option, but naturally the funding of such has to come from other areas!!, as Wessex Water are as we know a Statutory undertaker and not a developer, so no 106 monies.

Wessex Water have already met with Hurn Parish and surprise, surprise officers were subject to barrage of "not in my back yard", as from an email from Wessex Water, they [Hurn members] were against any routing over the river under any circumstances, DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR, yes Pig-Shoot and even before that decision Hurn were totally opposed to any of then the 4 routes being suggested to REPLACE THE EXISTING WEIR BRIDGE, for equestrian use.

As present am not sure as to how negotiations are proceeding with the land owners, as such we have a further meeting planned on the 22nd at 0930 at Queens Park Pavilion, [golf club] where hopefully we might hear as to how various talks and detail designs of the bridge is progressing, am sure any officer from County would be welcome, we know John Williamson has attend the last meeting.

Now having said all of this, as you can see both projects are and have to be totally separate, as you say the current structure condition is deteriorating and as agreed needs regular maintenance, this bridge is vital in retaining as part of the South East Dorset Green Infrastructure for easy pedestrian routes along the Stour Valley, so a bridge whatever form must be a priority for replacement.

You make reference to "more industrial nature and provide solely to meet EA operational requirements", i will add what ever the form of the replacement bridge be it foot/cyclist access or Equestrian use, a replacement bridge must now be a priority, and as you final say "I assure you that we are working on the project", i really hope so as a further now deferment to 2013/14 means another two plus years.

John yes will include the officers at Bournemouth and Environment Agency in my reply, will also forward past email on the issues around Berry Hill which might help you meantime John many thanks

Cllr Ron Whittaker

E-mail from John Burridge, Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council
7th March 2012
RE: Throop Crossing

Cllr Whittaker

The decision to remove the construction of the replacement of the Throop Crossing from the 2012/13 programme was made by me in consultation with the design team leader and the construction team leader. The decision has not been referred to committee or portfolio holder.

As Roger said we held a review of the whole of our 2012/13 programme of bridge projects funded by the LTP maintenance allocation. This project has been deferred it is not removed from the programme. Although the construction will not take place in 2012/13 you can be assured that we will still be working on the project to enable reconstruction in subsequent years. Hopefully, that will be in 2013/2014 as the current structural condition is deteriorating and annual maintenance costs are rising.

This project is not alone in having the construction deferred. We are naturally optimistic that things can be brought together quickly but often when we start on a project we do not know all the facts and circumstances change. When we started the project we had thought it was simply a like-for-like replacement structure, but we have since learned that, with the demise of the other project at Pig Shoot, there is a desire to upgrade this crossing to be suitable for equestrian use. At the same time, we have heard that Wessex Water are considering constructing a new access road to their water treatment works upstream of the Throop crossing. This presents another possibility for providing an equestrian and cyclist crossing of the Stour without upgrading the replacement bridge from foot access only. Indeed, it may be possible to divert the Right of Way so that a replacement of the crossing at the Throop Weir could be of a more industrial nature and provided solely to meet EA operational requirements.

The budget that I manage is for maintenance of highway bridges and includes the larger rights of way bridges such as the crossing at Throop Weir. Maintenance includes the replacement but it does not cover any extra cost that might be incurred in upgrading structures from pedestrian to equestrian use. The text of the internal email below dated 27/01/12 gives further background on the indicative costs, engineering reasons for not using the old spans from Burton Road and our need to consult with the Environment Agency.

Kevin

My enthusiasm for reusing the Burton Road spans at Throop as a bridge suitable for pedestrians and cyclists has been dampened. They would not be suitable for equestrian use as they are too narrow and the parapets are too low.

The Burton Road spans are just about wide enough for low volume use by cyclists at 1.83m between parapets that are just 35mm lower than they should be to current standards for cyclists. However, Simon Arscott has looked at some options and the idea of replacing the existing bridge with a wider one on the same line may not be feasible.

The estimated cost of providing a replacement like-for like bridge for pedestrians, 1.055m wide with 1.1m high parapets, on the same line as the existing bridge is £171k. Bicycles could be pushed across but it would not be suitable for equestrian use. The estimate assumes that the ROW could be closed for the duration of the works and no allowance is made for risk items.

To do anything more than this is likely to prove expensive. The problem is a combination of the increased loads that could be imposed, by providing a bridge of extra width, and not knowing the strength of the piers and abutments of the existing supporting structure. We have drawings but they do not show the reinforcement provided in the concrete. Therefore, we have to make conservative assumptions of structural capacity. Starting with this assumption we can then design the necessary strengthening. This will require the supports to be increased in thickness. Our estimate for a new bridge with 1.8m high parapet for equestrian use and a width of 2.5m is £400k (£450k for 3.5m width). Again,the estimate assumes that the ROW could be closed for the duration of the works and no allowance is made for risk items.

Possibly as significant a factor as the cost is the position that the EA may adopt. The EA own the substructure on which the current bridge sits and, with their flood defence hat on, they may not approve the widening of the support that would reduce the width of the waterway. They also have an interest as they use the current bridge for access to their sluices. We haven't approached them yet but need to soon.

Any work we do would need to be completed before the end of October as the EA prohibit work in rivers from November to March inclusive. Despite not being able to use the Burton Road spans we need to push ahead with the work this summer due to the poor condition of the existing bridge.

Is it likely that funding of £230k - £280k, plus an allowance for risk, could be found in the coming year to cover the difference in cost between pedestrian and equestrian standard bridges?

I would be grateful if you could give an indication within the next couple of weeks to inform our discussion with the EA and enable the design of a replacement bridge to progress.

Regards
John Burridge

I too would have preferred to replace the crossing this summer but this has not proved to be practical. In the meantime, we will ensure that the crossing is kept safe for use through an enhanced inspection and maintenance regime. It must appear from the outside that little is happening but I assure you that we are working on the project.

I hope this satisfactorily explains the reasons for my decision. I have addressed this email solely to you but I am happy for you to share the information with colleagues and officers at Bournemouth or the Environment Agency.

Regards
John Burridge - Chief Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council

NEW - 7th March 2012

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ronald Whittaker
6th March 2012
RE: Throop Crossing

Roger.

Your email has now come as a some what blow to me, not only is the footbridge on the A35 is to be located in the West of the County, now a decision [Not sure by who!!] has made a decision to omit a replacement bridge from your capital bridge replacement programme for this year and 2013, when it was firmly placed as such last year.

Roger you say the reason being "include no decision forthcoming regarding the possible change of use [i.e. upgrade to bridleway] plus funding and time available to design and procure a replacement footbridge to meet Environment Agency constraints to working in and around watercourse,". Not such here why that should now jeopardise the long term plan to replace this old wooden bridge, to which we know has now to have continued regular ongoing maintenance which now lead to having inspections every two months.

What i do request please is a copy of any report that has been considered by the relevant Portfolio Holder at County on any aspect of the Weir Throop bridge Crossing and more so please as to who made that decision to omit the replacement Bridge from the programme

Roger you also say "various options being considered at this time for a crossing at Throop" as you know we lost out on the County funding towards the the lottery win for Pig-Shoot and then the £300,000 lottery funding was then diverted elsewhere due to endless ongoing objections from members of Hurn Parish and adjacent land owner, the project was then deem to be of high risk on planning issues. This bridge carries many hundreds of daily walkers, and cyclists, it is our lifeline, and the priority must be for a replacement bridge sooner than later as by your own words on the 5th Jan, "deterioration in the timber, particularly the deck boards, the bridge is showing its age"

Roger i really now do need to see any relevant correspondence on this decision please, also am copying in our rights - of way officer and Nick Lyness from the environment-agency and our own Portfolio holder.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply from Roger Beaven
6th March 2012
RE: Throop Crossing

Cllr Whittaker

I can give an update on issues regarding the Throop Footbridge.

Firstly, the Burton Road Footbridge scheme on the A35 Xch bypass is now underway onsite. The old superstructure (ie deck) is going to be reused at other locations in the west of the county.

Secondly, we have reviewed our bridge programme for 2012/13 and the Throop Crossing Footbridge superstructure replacement has been omitted. The reasons for this include no decision forthcoming regarding the possible change of use (ie upgrade to bridleway) plus the funding and the time available to design and procure a replacement footbridge to meet Environment Agency constraints to working in and around watercourses. What we are putting in place to ensure the existing crossing remains open is to undertake an inspection every two monthly. Any maintenance considered urgent arising from these inspections will be undertaken to ensure the crossing remains fit for purpose.

There are various options being considered at this time for a crossing at Throop. When more information becomes available I am happy to provide updates.

Roger Beaven
Project Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Roger Beaven Project Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council
26th January 2012
Throop Crossing

Roger.

Having spend the week-end walking around the beautiful Stour area, and seeing much of the ongoing replacement to a few of the deck boards and sections of the handrail, can i thank your section for this maintenance to bridge, as you said before it is "showing its age", that is why i have to continue here to ask as to where we are now with the planned replacement for 2012/13 and if Dorset County Council are still looking at the possible replacement of the Burton footbridge on the A.35 to Throop, the only reason in pressing i will need some time shortly to make mention of the present bridge in my three yearly newsletters, as you can appreciate this bridge carries some hundreds of visitors weekly, and i need here to keep on top of future plans, also am keeping our officers informed as sometime access to the site will need to be secured.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply by Councillor Ron Whittaker
5th January 2012
RE: Throop Crossing

Roger,

Yes last year a few of the existing deck boards were replaced as we know also the issue of section of the hand rail, as you say deterioration of the timber as the whole bridge is mainly timber, and being some now 50 plus years old, ongoing.

Roger when the time comes for access, Hicks Farm is adjacent to the Weir so access can be gained via the farm which is tenanted by our farmer but council owned, so should not be any problems here.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply from Roger Beaven
5th January 2012
RE: Throop Crossing

Mr Whittaker

The main concerns we have is the deterioration in the timber, particularly the deck boards. The bridge is simply showing its age. This is the reason we have included for a replacement footbridge replacement superstructure at Throop weirs in the proposed 2012/13 capital programme.

Roger Beaven
Project Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council

E-mail Reply by Councillor Ron Whittaker
5th January 2012
RE: Throop Crossing

Roger,

Thanks for the update, just one think you mention which concerns me, you say "done some checks on the existing structure there are some concerns and is being monitored", WHAT ARE THESE CONCERNS!! As you can appreciate this being the only connect over the Stour River, and the age of the existing Bridge is the one very reason why we need the new Pig-Shoot Bridge which as we both know the monies was withdrawn by County and then we lose the £300.000 from the lottery win, so you can see why i am forever raising this matter with county.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Roger Beaven Project Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
5th January 2012
Throop Crossing

Mr Whittaker

Apologises not getting back to you prior to Christmas.

The Burton Rd Footbridge (A35 Xch bypass) replacement has been delayed slightly, should start on site early February.

As for Throop Footbridge we have done some checks on the existing structure there are concerns and is being monitored. A replacement superstructure for a public footpath is planned for 2012/13, design for this should start shortly. The deck of the 'old' Burton Rd Footbridge is being retained for reuse with one possible location being at Throop. The suitability for reuse at Throop is likely to depend on access, span lengths and possibly other unknowns.

Still early days but further details should become available in the early part of the next financial year.

Roger Beaven
Project Engineer, Bridge Management, Dorset Highways, Dorset County Council