Somerleyton Swing Bridge – Trial Water Spraying

Officers of the Broads Authority and Network Rail have been meeting regularly over a long period to discuss the significant problems that arise for boat owners when the two swing bridges at Reedham and Somerleyton are unable to open in very hot weather as a result of the thermal expansion of the rails.

One of the potential short term measures considered was to cool the rails by spraying water on them. There is no fresh water at Somerleyton and the engineers have concerns about the impact of using semi-saline water on the bridge structure.

However, given the current very high temperatures, the company is going to pump water out of the river onto the Somerleyton bridge for the next two weekends as a trial in an effort to keep it operational. Boat owners should therefore be aware that water drawn from the river will be cascading off the bridge back into the river.

Network Rail is doing its best to obtain the necessary equipment so that water spraying can commence this weekend (30 June – 01 July).

As of 2 July the Broads Authority has been informed that Somerleyton Swing Bridge is operating again.

 

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