Gaol Ferry Bridge closure: A floating pontoon and temporary bridge options considered, council reveal

City council reveals the options considered for people to cross the Avon Cut during the bridge closure, which looks set to happen in June

Bristol City Council has confirmed that the Gaol Ferry Bridge is set to close in June for repair works, which will last around between six and nine months.

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Yesterday evening, the public authority said work would begin after the proposed investment of £1million for the work was agreed by the council’s cabinet on May 10.

And papers to the cabinet also revealed that the council considered two options to help people cross the Avon Cut during the closure of the bridge.

The first was to install a second temporary bridge, but with ‘bespoke abutments’ needed either side of the water, which would lead to the closure of Coronation Road and Cumberland Road, the idea was judged to cost more than £2million, and was therefore considered unviable.

Commuters wait at the crossing next to Gaol Ferry Bridge, which is due to close for repairs next month.

A floating pontoon was also considered. But the cabinet report said: “A floating pontoon was also considered, but again this would not be a viable option due to the tidal range of the river within the New Cut.”

Councillor Don Alexander, cabinet member for transport, said: “I am pleased we are in a position to give a concrete approach to how we’ll tackle this challenge.

“Our highways and structures teams have been working on developing the proposed plan for this bridge with a focus on trying to minimise the impact on people who use the bridge and local businesses.

“This work has ensured that a range of options have been considered and the best possible solution available is being put forward.

“Although I recognise this will result in some disruption for people we will stay in touch with local businesses and the community to keep everyone updated on the work.

“The diversions being put in place will be clearly signposted and communicated across all media.”

The work to Gaol Ferry Bridge will be the first of six bridges repaired and maintenaned over the next five years.

The other bridges are Bath Bridge, Bedminster New Bridge, Bedminster Old Bridge, Gaol Ferry Bridge, Langton Street Footbridge and Vauxhall Footbridge.