This month's problem with the Twin Sails Bridge: it doesn't work in high winds (From Bournemouth Echo)
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This month's problem with the Twin Sails Bridge: it doesn't work in high winds
THE winter’s gale force winds have caused problems for Poole’s Twin Sails lifting bridge resulting in more work having to be carried out.
Fierce gusts of wind were not possible to replicate during the commissioning phase, say Borough of Poole engineers, and adjustments have had to be made to the lifting leaves, whose hydraulically-operated lifting sections rise through 88 degrees.
The £21.6million bridge across the Back Water Channel, which has had a troubled start with a catalogue of “teething troubles”, is nearing the end of its 12 month defect period, during which the contractor is responsible for putting right any problems.
Borough of Poole has a list of defects, constantly changing as new items are identified while others are sorted out, and there are still some outstanding issues to be resolved before the end of the defects period at the beginning of April.
However the number of problems causing closure of the bridge to road traffic and delays to marine craft, has lessened over the months. In the Twin Sails first six weeks of operation last spring, there were 15 occasions when it was closed to traffic.
But during strong winds on January 29 the leaves went out of synchronisation and the contractor had to make adjustments on site as the gusts continued.
“Significant progress has been made to rectify issues surrounding the Twin Sails Bridge,” said Julian McLaughlin, head of transportation services, Borough of Poole.
“Some further adjustments were made following issues that emerged during the recent period of strong wind, conditions that it was not possible to simulate during the commissioning phase.
“The defects period runs for 12 months and minor issues that have been identified during the initial period of maintenance and operation by council staff have been reported to the contractor for rectification,” he said.
The outstanding defects are:
- Shock absorbers
- Movement joints
- Minor hydraulic issues
- Cycle lane lines
- Adjustments/ refinements to the control system
The Echo has asked for a full list of the defects discovered over the last twelve months and details of what the problems are with each of the areas listed above.
Officer time spent on the second harbour bridge since it opened to traffic is not costed separately by the council and is considered part of the normal workload.