Plans to have a temporary bridge in place across Faversham Creek have been delayed.
KCC was hoping to have a bridge installed this week, however, further inspections have identified that the temporary bridge should not be placed on the existing abutments.
Work to prepare for and install an increased span temporary bridge remains ongoing and this has unfortunately required that the current diversion route remains in place for the time being.
Meanwhile, the works to improve Flood Lane are nearing completion. The provision of a fully constructed footpath, improved drainage and temporary lighting has progressed at pace and will make this previously poor pedestrian route a safe and accessible access for all, even after the bridge has been reopened.
Simon Jones, Director of Kent Highways and Transport, said: “KCC would like to apologise for the delay in reopening the bridge and the unintended impact upon the local community, but we remain committed to restoring this key link as quickly and safely as possible.”
KCC, working with Peel Ports, lifted the existing swing bridge on Monday, December 9, allowing surveyors and technical assessors to examine otherwise inaccessible parts of the structure.
Following a detailed examination of the bridge structure and the mechanical parts and assemblies, it was decided that further consideration would be needed on whether to repair or replace the bridge.
KCC’s cabinet member for highways and transport, Michael Payne, said: “Whilst I appreciate it will be disappointing that the existing bridge cannot be repositioned immediately, I am reassured that our proactive decision to lift the bridge will help us decide the best way to secure this important crossing for the future.
“We have ensured that our response has been swift to both reconnect Faversham’s communities and to enhance the pedestrian facilities.
“The decision to install a temporary bridge has not been taken lightly and is, I believe, the correct course of action in the circumstances.
“Safety is Kent County Council’s top priority and we are not prepared to put the travelling public at risk.
“I am very grateful to all our contractors for the way in which they have responded so professionally to this unexpected situation.”