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Condition of German Church footbridge
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ForestDweller


Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2013
Post: #21
07-08-2014 07:42 PM

Ah, OK, so this was just supposed to be a placeholder until the real structural work was done?

I do think they have only succeeded in making the bridge less stable. I'm keen to know the timeline for this being done properly. Does anyone know who I should contact?

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Benderish


Posts: 41
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #22
07-08-2014 07:57 PM

It's a pretty poor job... I cross it every day. The wood, while it's great that they replaced it, is untreated so will rot as soon as winter comes and they've not bothered the screw down the gap covers meaning they are all lifting up and creating a trip hazard.

I think the old rotten ones were safer!

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #23
08-08-2014 02:09 PM

Quote:
Ah, OK, so this was just supposed to be a placeholder until the real structural work was done?


Yes - until the real work is done in 2013.

The responsibility of repairing/replacing the bridge belongs to Highways@lewisham.gov.uk

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michael


Posts: 3,199
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #24
08-08-2014 03:52 PM

Quote:
Yes - until the real work is done in 2013.

Would that be last 2013 or the next 2013?

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ForestDweller


Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2013
Post: #25
14-08-2014 12:06 PM

Ok, so have emailed highways dept and got this very confusing reply back, which went on at length about several issues I didn't ask about and then suggests that the steps will be repaired sometime this financial year (!)

The email confuses the steps/deck of the bridge several times and I'm assuming that this was unintentional and they mean the whole bridge, but I have emailed them back to clarify. Also, if they really have plans to repair it, surely they have more detailed plans than "this financial year" since they would have to get quotes for the work, plan for it, book in a time to do it and close the bridge.... doesn't add up to me!

Thanks for your email.

The Council is currently working on a scheme on Sydenham Footbridge to replace the bridge deck, as this now needs replacing.

An extensive feasibility study has previously been carried out with regard to providing a ramp access or a subway. The main issue is that due to the gradient required for the ramp or subway the total length of the approach ramp just on one side is in excess of 240m in length. Due to the limited space on either side of the bridge it is near impossible to fit this in even with a change in direction of the ramp. On the Dacres Road side of the bridge the path from the bridge also falls away which means the ramp on this side would be considerably longer.

Consideration was given to installing lifts but this was rejected on safety grounds and the structure is relatively remote and despite being monitored this would be remote form the bridge itself thus should people get stuck or need assistance this would not be immediate. In addition due to the relatively remote location there is a likelihood of vandalism or breakdown making the lifts un-usable and therefore not a viable solution.

The only option therefore is carry out what improvements we can to the staircase and these works will be carried out this financial year.

In the meantime I have asked our highway inspector for this area to check the condition of the new steps and to arrange for any potentially hazardous defects to be repaired.
I hope this is helpful.

regards

Imogen Payami

Transport Policy & Development
Casework
4th Floor
Laurence House
Catford Rd
Lewisham SE6 4RU
Tel: 020 8314 2235
Email: imogen.payami@lewisham.gov.uk

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #26
14-08-2014 05:40 PM

Thanks ForestDweller.
The wooden decking of course is not the problem, and it would be nice to know if this bridge is listed, as the decking (including the green ironwork) is lovely. It just needs some proper maintenance every now and then.

The old maps show a very similar bridge over 100 years ago, and it would not surprise me if it was built in 1876 when they built the German church (mk 1), so it has historical interest too. It is a great shame Steve Grindlay no longer posts.

Of course Lewisham/network rail will want an ugly metal cage/box to replace the deck for the protection of the drivers and that is understandable, but the excuses they come up with why they cannot replace the hand rails they ripped off or haven't the room to provide accessibility when there is a dead-end service road one side and an exclusive 90m path the other are ludicrous.

Victorian engineers would have had no problem solving such an enormous problem. The Romans could have solved it, and it would still be standing today.
Engineers today do not seem to have a clue.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #27
14-08-2014 05:50 PM

Yes and I can only assume the "240m" ramp is a typo. This would be a gentle enough incline for a train - 24.0m perhaps? Am not a particular fan but this space restriction has been solved locally on the footbridge that crosses the tracks in Ladywell Fields near the running track.

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Benderish


Posts: 41
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #28
14-08-2014 06:41 PM

Hi lacb,

I think the ramps you are talking about are the spiral ones right?

They still take a fair bit of space to fit in. They may work well on the non-Church side but there is no way it would fit in on the church side.

They could fit in a 24m ramp if they folded it in two, starting at the base of where the steps are now going up away from the bridge and then folding back on itself to the bridge. Simple. Then put a spiral one on the other side.

This post was last modified: 14-08-2014 06:44 PM by Benderish.

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