The resurfacing works on the Tamar Bridge will be completed this weekend, with all four lanes due to re-open to traffic on Sunday evening. The complex project has been completed two weeks ahead of schedule, enabling the bridge to be fully open for the October half term break. Following the opening of all three lanes on the main deck on Sunday evening, the South Cantilever will revert back to use by pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooters, with the North Cantilever being used by Saltash and local traffic.
The shuttle bus service will remain in place until all the lanes have re—opened.
Welcoming the re-opening of all traffic lanes, Councillors Jonathan Drean and Martin Worth, the Joint Chairs of the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee, said everyone had worked very hard to complete the project as quickly as possible while meeting the high standards required.
The Tamar Bridge carries around 16 million vehicles a year, providing a vital transport link between Cornwall and Devon. Maintaining the bridge is essential for the safety of bridge users and in ensuring a long service life for the structure.
The bridge needs to be resurfaced every 20 to 25 years to prevent damage occurring to the steel deck. The resurfacing was originally due to be carried out during 2020, but had to be postponed until this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and the need to complete the kerb replacement works. Delaying the project again would have resulted in further damage to the surfacing material, leading to cracks which then enables water to penetrate onto the steel plates underneath with the potential for corrosion to occur.
We recognise the challenges that the resurfacing project has caused for local residents, people going to work, bus and coach companies, hauliers and other local businesses, and are delighted that the works have been completed two weeks ahead of schedule.
The project, which has included resurfacing the toll plaza area and the bridge approaches, and the replacement of all six of the bridge movement joints, as well as resurfacing the three lanes on the bridge deck and both cantilevers, has been carried out by specialist contractor VolkerLaser.
This involved carrying out a series of highly complex procedures in sequence. After removing 949 tonnes of existing surface material using a road planer, the teams applied 1,920kg of paint ‘primer’ to the deck. Two layers of waterproofing – 8,500m2 – were then applied to provide vital corrosion protection to the steel deck plates. Two thin layers of the surfacing material were then applied before the final process of laying the road markings was carried out.
We are delighted to be completing works on the Tamar Bridge two weeks earlier than planned. The team has worked tirelessly to complete the resurfacing works, and it’s been a pleasure to work on such an iconic structure.