Adur Ferry Bridge's broken panels to be replaced as cause of damage revealed
The eight broken panels on the Adur Ferry Bridge in Shoreham are due to be replaced following an investigation into the cause of the damage, a county council spokesman has confirmed.
Three of the panels have been broken since April 2017.
A spokesman from West Sussex County Council said: “There are currently eight broken panels. We have placed an order for these to be replaced, which will be in the next few months.”
The county council said last year that it had been unable to establish why the panels had shattered. It said it could not replace the panels until ‘a firm conclusion had been reached’ as to the cause of the damage.
The cause has now been investigated and the spokesman said: “Of the eight broken panels, two have failed due to inclusions in the glass material, two due to failure at the fixings and the remaining four because of impact damage – the exact cause of which could not be determined.”
The county council had previously blamed damage to two of the panels on vandals.
Councillor Joss Loader, chairman of the Shoreham Beach Residents' Association, said: "The bridge is widely regarded as being a huge asset to the town so it's good news that the panels are finally being replaced.
"But what we really need is a comprehensive statement from West Sussex County Council to explain what they're doing to help prevent the ongoing problems that have cropped up since the bridge opened.
"Have they carried out a comprehensive survey of the remaining panels to help ensure there are no further failings at the fixings or problems with the glass?
"Are they putting any further mechanisms in place to help prevent further vandalism?
"There is little point in simply replacing the panels every time without thoroughly investigating and addressing the causes."
In November 2016, 16 shattered glass panels were repaired at a cost of approximately Â£18,000, after months of delays. Of these, 14 were damaged by vandals while two failed at the supports, according to the county council.
The bridge is currently midway through resurfacing work to its opening span which, subject to weather conditions, is expected to be completed by Monday, January 21.
The county council spokesman explained: “The resurfacing on the opening span of the footbridge is needed because the surface, which was laid in late 2013, is showing signs of deterioration – so the contractor is returning to rectify this at its own cost."