When you report an incident to us we will assess the severity and assign an inspector
Please note – if you are reporting this defect outside normal working hours – Monday 8am to 6pm, Tuesday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm – and you believe it is an urgent problem and a risk to public safety, please phone the police on 101.
When you contact us please provide:
When you report an incident we will assess the severity and assign an inspector. If we are not responsible for the structure we will pass the report to the appropriate owner. We will make the site safe and respond in accordance with the inspector’s recommendations.
Somerset has nearly 3000 highway bridges and retaining walls – some new, others centuries old. We try to maintain these efficiently with the minimum of disruption.
To discuss any issue with walls or fences please contact us.
Non highway bridge and structure problems should be reported to the following organisations:
Railways – Railtrack
Canals – British Waterways
Bridges over streams in Exmoor National Park please report to Exmoor National Park
Bridges are inspected approximately every 2 years and a programme of maintenance work is drawn up. Incidents of damage through vehicle collision, storm damage, or other causes are investigated as soon as possible.
In the case of damage to bridges by vehicles, reporting of the vehicle details may mean it is possible for us to claim the cost of the repairs to the bridge or culvert.
53 bridges are listed buildings of which 17 are scheduled ancient monuments.
These structures require maintenance to exacting standards and we consult the relevant authority and acquire the necessary approvals before such work is carried out.
In addition to more routine bridge maintenance work we have been engaged in a long term government sponsored task of assessing the load carrying capacity of bridges. All highway authorities throughout the UK have been undertaking this work and it has been the largest exercise of this type ever undertaken.
The assessments started in the early 1990s and were prompted by the planned increase in the maximum weight of lorries from 38 tonnes to 40 tonnes which happened in 1999. Around 1400 Somerset road bridges with a span greater than 1.5m are included.
When a bridge is found to be under strength this is usually rectified with a bridge strengthening scheme. In some cases very weak or deteriorated bridges bridges have had to be replaced, in some other cases it has been deemed safe to use weight restrictions.
Somerset’s programme of bridge strengthening has been carefully prioritised and the weakest bridges on the main routes, with the most heavy traffic, have been dealt with first. Naturally it is important for a rural county (with often heavy agricultural traffic) to have local roads capable of safely carrying all traffic, so the work continues on these routes too.
It is expected that the strengthening programme will be completed in 2011. Somerset bridge strengthening work has never been used to promote or increase heavy vehicle usage of any road, it is simply carried out to ensure a bridge is safe to carry any load that is legally allowed to use it.
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