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STSB recommends like-for-like replacement of Castle Bridge

The States' Trading Supervisory Board has submitted proposals to replace the Castle Cornet Bridge with a like-for-like structure to secure safe pedestrian and vehicular access to the Castle, Lighthouse and Breakwater for more than 50 years. 

The project is estimated to cost between £6-7 million.

The deteriorating condition of the Bridge's reinforced concrete deck, which dates back to the 1950s, has required extensive monitoring and inspection in recent years.

While this has extended the bridge's operational life and maintained essential access to Castle Cornet and the Breakwater, the corrosion to the bridge cannot be halted, and inspection results show an accelerated loss of concrete from the underside of the structure.

If the Bridge's condition is not addressed, it will ultimately need to be closed due to risk of collapse.

The renovation of the Castle Cornet Bridge was included in the June 2022 Government Work Plan Update and approved by the States as a 'must do' infrastructure project, with an 'in principle' funding envelope of £5-10 million.

The STSB agreed to oversee the project, as it falls within the Guernsey Ports estate. However, funding of the work was included in the central capital portfolio agreed by the States in the October 2023 Finance & Investment Plan debate and would come from the Capital Reserve. 

The STSB recommends that the bridge is replaced with a like-for-like structure, with some design enhancements to meet modern health and safety standards and improve accessibility.

An initial list of options was compiled following an inspection of the bridge in 2018 and that work has been updated as further annual inspections have been carried out.

States' Trading Supervisory Board President Deputy Peter Roffey said: "During this assessment of options, the like-for-like replacement of the structure with design improvements emerged as the overwhelming first choice.

"Not only does it have the shortest anticipated delivery time, lowest base cost, least risk cost and lowest optimism bias, it is likely to secure planning approval and require little more than scheduled maintenance for half a century to come."

"Access to Castle Cornet is vital to sustain its economic model and its use as a public resource. The bridge also provides access to the Castle Breakwater, which helps provide safe waters within the harbour, and the Castle Lighthouse, which provides navigational assistance to the maritime community as well as being a local point of interest."

It is aimed that the project will be completed by the end of 2026, following the required procurement processes, planning applications and political approval timescales.

It is currently estimated to cost between £6-7 million, which includes funds for the continued monitoring of the bridge for safe use until the replacement is completed.

In addition to ongoing monitoring, appropriate precautions have been taken. Access underneath the bridge is restricted and there is a cordon in place at beach level which people should not cross due to the risk of spalling concrete.