Isle of Man News - POSTED Thu 27-02-2014

More problems for swingbridge

by Joanne Clague

More problems for swingbridge - picture

The swingbridge in Ramsey won't be open in time for the TT festival, it's been confirmed.

Infrastructure Minister David Cretney says he's disappointed by the news but hopes the early warning will allow the town's civic leaders, police and sprint organisers time to plan alternative road access around the town during the busiest time of year.

Thousands of visitors flock to Ramsey for the sprint event held during TT week on the promenade.

Work on the swingbridge has uncovered an unexpected problem. The bridge rotates on 20 iron wheels that turn on a metal track, forming a very large bearing to support the entire rotating part of the bridge. The wheels, thought to have been fitted in the 1980s, were all found to be one inch smaller than they should have been.

Director of Ports, Ann Reynolds said: 'The Department decided at the start of the project that it would properly restore the swingbridge. If these wheels were left as they are, another significant overhaul would be needed, probably within a few years. It makes financial sense to take a bit longer and to do the job properly whilst the bridge is already dismantled. We had planned further minor works on the bridge for later in the year but will now consider doing this as part of the current works”.

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