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We look after 377 bridges and related structures in Warrington, including:
- 221 road bridges
- 93 park bridges
- 18 subways
- 33 culverts (wider than 1.5m)
- 12 highway retaining walls (more than 1.5m high)
There are some bridges which we’re not responsible for:
- The swing bridges over the Manchester Ship Canal are owned by Peel Ports
- Most railway bridges are owned by Network Rail
- Bridges over the Bridgewater Canal are owned by the Peel Group
Bridge inspections and strength assessments
We go out and visually inspect our bridges at least every two years. We carry out more detailed inspections, called ‘principal inspections’, every six to 18 years.
We also sometimes ask specialist contractors to inspect bridges to make sure we have reliable and accurate data about their condition.
We also check the strength of our bridges continuously by testing and repairing the concrete, waterproofing, upgrading parapets and carrying out other structural works.
We use the information from the inspections and strength assessments to plan and prioritise improvement works to keep our bridges safe and strong. We carry out maintenance on about 10 per cent of our bridges every year, and we try to include it within other planned roadworks so that we don’t have to disrupt traffic again.
Bridge weight limits
The maximum permitted weight of a lorry is 40 tonnes and we make sure all of our bridges can support this weight safely.
However sometimes we use weight limit signs to stop large vehicles from using smaller roads, routes and areas which are unsuitable for their size. This might be because:
- They may be dangerous for pedestrians and other road users
- They could damage buildings, roads or bridges
- We need to protect the area’s character and environment
- We have to reduce and manage congestion on the roads
Bridges damaged in road accidents
If a bridge has been damaged in a road accident, please report this to us via Contact Warrington.
We'll need to know:
- When and where the bridge was damaged.
- How the damage occurred, including details of what kind of vehicles were involved.
- Any other relevant details.
We'll come and inspect it, and if we’re worried about safety we’ll close the road and manage the traffic whilst the damage is fixed.
If a bridge collapses, we can sometimes install a temporary steel bridge across the collapsed section. This means it can be open to traffic whilst we look at the best way to fix the bridge permanently.
Bridge collapses are often unpredictable, even if the bridge is very well looked after. They can be caused by things like heavy vehicles, too many vehicles on the bridge at the same time, road traffic accidents or damage to foundations.
We try to investigate all bridge collapses, but sometimes it’s difficult to find out who owns a bridge which can cause unnecessary delays.