Gem Bridge, I’m happy to say, is progressing brilliantly! I had the opportunity to visit the site, and take some photos. I wasn’t allowed right down into the valley at the time, as they were still securing a segment of the bridge that had been lifted in place just a while before I took the pictures.
Interestingly, apparently the crane used to lift the segments can lift hundreds of tons, but came within three tons of its lifting limit. The photos really don’t do the project justice, and they certainly don’t convey the scale, but at least they show you what progress has been made. Amongst other things, the crew working here faced the real risk that the crane could be blown over by high winds while in the midst of lifting a bridge segment in place, but they continued. We are seriously lucky to have this built, and yet again I need to congratulate the team from Devon County Council for their vision and their determination.
I spoke to the project manager, who told me they believe they were still on track for completing Gem Bridge by January 2012. Additionally, they believe that there is a realistic time scale for completing the section of new cycle path through Grenofen tunnel, and over Ashmill bridge, by around May 2012!
Gem Bridge itself is a slight downhill, with one side being higher than the other. Obviously no work has started on the actual bridge surface yet, but that isn’t too far off in the distance.
As ever, click on any picture to see a larger version.