Here we are at the start of the Summer 2014 and the Foot Bridge is still not working correctly.
According to the Thorne Times p35:
The Council’s electrical engineer has carried out the majority of repairs. Some mechanical repairs were also necessary that required specialist fabrication.
Unfortunately when the controls were inspected it was found that the wi-fi equipment had been irreparably damaged. This has been a source of problems in the past so the Council have agreed to replace it with a wired connection using the road bridge to cross the canal. It is hoped that these final works will be undertaken in the next 2-3 weeks to allow the bridge to be fully operational.
Just reading the minutes of Aprils Town Council Meeting, I quote:
It was reported that there have been regular problems with the canal footbridge over a number of years caused by problems with this operation leading to a number of problems:
Regular call out of town council staff which leads to additional overtime costs. If there were two callouts per week this would cost the council £1000 per year, however in the summer this will be many times more and the cost far greater.
Periods of non-operation which creates inconvenience for pedestrians
Costs for engineers to investigate problems
Boats have priority on the canal so if the system becomes inoperable the bridge would need to be left open
The footbridge was installed in 2005. The bridge is designed to be operated by boaters when they wish to pass through. It uses a hydraulic power and relies on a computer program to control operation. This computer system includes a number of safety elements which stops operation if it thinks there is a problem
A number of adjustments have been made to the bridge mechanism and programming over the years to attempt to make it more reliable. These have not resulted in any lasting improvements
A firm of engineering consultants have been commission to investigate and prepare a report. The main problem seems to be the wireless communication which causes the bridge to operate intermittently.
A further report will be presented once costs are known.