Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 10th June 2010
Title of Item/Report
Leven Bridge - Repair Strategy
Record of the Decision
Members considered a report relating to issues that have forced the closure of the road going over Leven Bridge. The report also indicated the solution that had been identified to rectify the problem and the impact on resources as a result.

It was explained that the visible cracking in the road surface at Leven Bridge prompted a road closure in February 2010. The intervening period since then had resulted in a number of investigations being carried out to determine the cause and assist in identifying the solution.

These investigations had found that scour in the river bed and river bank had undermined the upstream corner of the north road bridge abutment and footbridge abutment resulting in a partial lack of support to both the road bridge and footbridge.

Remedial measures had been identified that involved filling the void with special grout bags and reinstating the river bed with anti scour material that would prevent the problem re-occurring. These were being implemented. An appropriate contractor was appointed on an emergency basis to assist with the development and delivery of the solution. This procurement was recorded as an Officer Decision, in order to expedite the necessary works and associated expenditure, given the timescales involved. In parallel officers had been working closely with the Environment Agency, utility companies and landowners to secure the necessary consents to ensure the works could be expedited at the earliest convenience.

It was anticipated that the works should be completed in July 2010 and the bridge re-opened to traffic in that period.

Officers were working closely with the contractor and other agencies to ensure that the cost implications in implementing the project were kept to a minimum, but it was recognised that the extent of works that were required could be up to £500,000. The Acting Head of Technical Services had been in dialogue with Government Office North East and the Department of Transport since early March to try and source financial support for the situation. Mixed messages had been received however, it was the intention to continue to lobby at the highest level to try and secure the support that was rightly needed to fund the project. The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport had also written to the Secretary of State for Transport to strengthen this message.

Cabinet noted that, where possible, and appropriate, officers would pursue other potential sources of funding where liability was proven to be a significant contributory factor to the damage to the bridge. This may be in the form of a cocktail of contributions based upon where the liability sat and the level of contribution to the overall problem. It was recognised however that the provisions within the new Flood and Water Management Act which received Royal assent in April 2010 in respect of defining responsibilities for maintenance of flood defence assets would not be able to be applied retrospectively.

The closure of the bridge and the arterial route it carries had had an impact not only on local residents and commuters but also local businesses in the immediate vicinity including those in Yarm, Ingleby Barwick and Thornaby. Throughout the period officers had given regular updates to Ward Councillors and to the wider public through dialogue with the media. Officers would continue to ensure that the progress and completion of the project was effectively communicated.

RECOMMENDED that Council:

1. note that there may be an impact on resources as a result of the works required and approve the release of Council balances up to a maximum of £500,000.


2. authority be delegated to the Acting Head of Technical Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport to oversee the programme of works

3. authority be delegated to the Acting Head of Technical Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport to look for alternative funding sources.
Reasons for the Decision
The use of additional resources would enable the Authority to maintain a safe highway for road users and meet its statutory duty to maintain the highway.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday 18 June 2010 in respect of decision 2 and 3 only.

Date of Publication: 14 June 2010

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