A complex project to lift out Skew Bridge at Lake so it can be taken away for refurbishment off-site will be undertaken next week.
A special rail-mounted crane will be used to lift the nine-tonne footbridge from its foundations. It will then be dismantled into three sections in nearby Winchester House car park and transported to a specialist company off-Island for refurbishment before coming back to the Island and hoisted once more into place.
The lifting and necessary preparations will take place between 9am on Tuesday May 4 and 5pm on Thursday May 6.
Island Roads has agreed the dates and times of the lift during discussions with Network Rail and South Western Railway and will be carried out during the railway’s ‘blockade’ (suspension of services) while track maintenance is taking place. Further discussions will be required to organise the lifting of the refurbished bridge back into place – hopefully in early June.
Jason Boulter, Island Roads project manager, said: “It is the first time we have lifted out a railway footbridge in this manner and it has taken a lot of planning and discussions to arrive at this point.
“But we are looking forward to the challenge and will be seeking to get the refurbished bridge back in situ as soon as practicable.”
The nature of the lift next week is such that it will be necessary to close the road during the operation (9am on Tuesday May 4 – 5pm Thursday May 6) with a signed diversion in place.
The current pedestrian crossing arrangements that have necessitated two way-lights will remain in place until the refurbished bridge is opened.
The bridge is one of two that cross the railway between Lake and Shanklin that is being refurbished this year. Work at nearby Alresford Bridge was completed earlier this month.