Good News!

Today I am very happy to write that the end of the closure of the Bailey Bridge is now in sight!  We had the eagerly awaited follow up meeting with SCC, Suffolk Highways, the District Councillors from Suffolk Coastal and Waveney, representatives from the business community, Southwold, Reydon and Walberswick Parish Council and the WCLC on Friday afternoon, 2 November.  At that meeting, a very large consulting engineers report was shared by Suffolk Highways.  In short, the report confirmed that the two key concerns — the corroded stringer beams under the bridge deck and the broken cross beam — were all that needed to be addressed in order to reopen the bridge.  There are a number of other issues to sort out for the long-term survival of our bridge, but this will not stop the 3-5 year solution from being put in place now.   In non-engineering parlance, this solution will consist of the replacement of the beam and the placement of “Buffalo Board” over the top of the bridge decking.    Suffolk Highways and SCC committed to doing this work and confirmed that the funding necessary was in place.  The meeting set a clear target date of having the work completed and the bridge reopened in time for the busy Christmas Season.  Thanks to SCC Councillor Michael Ladd who represents Southwold, Dani will be able to operate the Ferry for one additional week (ie until 11 November).   Thereafter, the Ferry will operate on weekends only.   We very much hope that by 18 December we will be able to cross the river by foot, bike and mobility scooter.  Suffolk Highways is working towards that date and will keep us appraised of any possible delays or accelerations and WPC will continue to update the village through this website.  Once the bridge is reopened, we will move on to the conversations and planning on the long-term to ensure that we are never faced again with loosing our bridge.