Editorial

Historic Dorset Bridge Reopens After Collapse

A historic bridge has reopened to walkers and cyclists after it partially collapsed earlier this year.

Wool Bridge, a Grade II listed structure which crosses the River Frome in Wool, Purbeck, was made famous in literature by Thomas Hardy.

In January the bridge partially collapsed due to a crack in the bridge developed over the Christmas period.

However in October, in order to prevent future erosion and provide support for the bridge, a reinforced concrete retaining was constructed.

Council officials said the dry-dam was removed as the stonework is now above the waterline of the river. The temporary scaffold footbridge has also been removed, ensuring that all six arches of the bridge are free for the river to flow.

At this time of year there is a greater risk of increased water flow and potential flooding.

Work is now continuing to put back in place the original courses of bridge stonework – with a scaffold platform installed to enable this – and part of the bridge remains closed for working space.

The original lime mortar has been chemically and microscopically analysed to replicate its unique recipe and retain the character of the listed structure. This is being used on all the rebuilt stonework.

It is expected that all repair works will be finished by the end of November and the bridge will be resurfaced finally.

The new stone has been supplied, cut and tooled by W. J. Haysom & Son and Lander’s Quarries in Langton Matravers, Swanage.

 

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