Bridge set to have 150 glass panels replaced

County councillor John O'Brien on the Adur Ferry Bridge

County councillor John O'Brien on the Adur Ferry Bridge

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AROUND 150 glass panels are to be replaced on the Adur Ferry Bridge, after a number of panels developed cracks last year.

West Sussex County Council’s contractor Osborne’s has decided to replace the panels as a safety precaution.

It is important that these precautionary measures are taken now, which will help ensure the safe future of this wonderful community asset.

Councillor John O’Brien

The work is estimated to cost £150,000 with the bill being picked up by Osborne’s and not the tax payer.

John O’Brien, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “It is important that these precautionary measures are taken now, which will help ensure the safe future of this wonderful community asset.

“People will still be able to safely use the bridge as normal while the work is going on.”

Osborne delivery director Derek Thornhill said: “While we are confident that the existing glass panels are safe, we have taken the decision to replace a small number of them as a precautionary measure.

“We will endeavour to keep any disruption to a minimum but ask for your understanding and patience while these works are being undertaken.”

The work will be carried out during July and early August.

Before the panels get replaced, the bridge will close to the public for an inspection.

The closure will be in place from June 1 to June 30, between 9am and 5pm, from Monday to Friday.

It will reopen at weekends to support a number of Shoreham events including the Wild Life festival.

Adur District Councillor Liza McKinney said: “I’m horrified. There’s anger from the residents. They are saying ‘look, for goodness sake why do these panels constantly need replacing?’ I think the embarrassment is on West Sussex County Council and the builders.

“In this day and age, with technology as it is, why are we constantly having to have these panels replaced?”

It was initially thought that vandals were behind damage to six glass panels, last year.

However, CCTV footage showed this not to be the case. Instead, an investigation ordered by the council found the cracks were caused by a chemical impurity in the glass, called nickel sulphide.