Unusual Activity & Closures

Havengore Bridge Update: 10 August 2018

Following the visit and inspection by our external engineers this week, an electrical fault with the bridge has been identified. The root cause is with the control unit that runs the sequencing of the mechanism. We also need to investigate a fault with a sensor that is affecting the correct operation of the locking pins.

The contractor is on standby to make the necessary repairs which are estimated to take approximately 3 days. However, the bespoke component parts have an estimated delivery time of 2 weeks. Cognisant of the forthcoming Burnham Week Regatta as well as the ongoing daily inconvenience to local mariners, we are working to reduce that timeframe and conduct any useful concurrent activity in the meantime.

We are fully aware of the impact that this is having on the marine community and regret the necessity to enforce the closure, but maintaining the roadway onto Foulness Island must remain the priority. Attempts to lift the bridge will heighten the risk of the roadway becoming impassable, as well as causing further damage to the mechanism.

When we have further information on the date of the repairs, we will issue a another update. Updates are also by Twitter @SHB_Alerts and on our website.

Havengore Bridge - Closed to marine traffic (05.08.18)

On Sunday 5 August, Havengore Bridge failed in the open position on lifting. The test lift was completed on Thursday 2 August with no issues reported and we went into the weekend with confidence that the bridge would operate. QinetiQ engineers attended and lowered the bridge manually to restore road access to Foulness Island which takes priority so that emergency access is maintained. The specialist engineers will be attending tomorrow when we will have a fault diagnosis and estimated down time.

It’s apparent that in spite of regular maintenance and testing, the bridge is still prone to unforeseen and intermittent failure and our contractors are investigating an underlying cause. In the meantime, we’re advising mariners that when the bridge is declared open to marine traffic (following fault rectification and testing), that they should be aware of the possibility that it may fail on operation, and that they should be prepared to take an alternate route/have a contingency plan in place.

Mariners can contact the bridgekeeper on the day and on approach to check the status on 01702 383436 or VHF Channel 72. We also attempt to notify mariners when failures occur out of hours (when limited resources are available) and will be adding announcements about bridge failures to the information that we already provide to HM Coastguard to be broadcast in Local Navigational Warnings.

We will provide a further update following the engineers’ report.

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