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Why Whorlton Bridge has closed


An assessment has identified that the bridge is no longer able to support vehicles or pedestrians. This problem is not in a few isolated areas, but across the whole structure.

Structural condition

An assessment was carried out to determine if the 3 tonne weight restriction was appropriate.

The age and uniqueness of the bridge meant a number of structural elements could not be tested

The assessment was carried out assuming that all the structural elements were in a good condition in order to determine the full carrying capability of the bridge, this would be the case when all the defects known to us have been repaired.

The assessment concluded that the structure could not withstand the effects of the load combinations for pedestrians or vehicles.

In addition to the assessment, a sensitivity analysis was undertaken to determine whether the structure could withstand pedestrian loading in isolation as this would potentially allow the structure to remain open to pedestrians.  The pedestrian loading was applied over a 2m wide strip along the total length of the structure. This analysis concluded that the structure could not withstand the pedestrian load effects generated.

The assessments undertaken have identified the failure of the main chains and link pins under loading.  Further investigations are required to identify the true condition of the joints and structures within the bridge.

More detailed information can be found in the Icon for pdf Whorlton Bridge: summary from the principal inspection report of the bridge (PDF, 566.8kb) .