London Colney bridge on edge of collapse, concerned man believes
PUBLISHED: 07:36 19 February 2019 | UPDATED: 07:51 19 February 2019
An iconic London Colney bridge is teetering on the edge of collapse, a concerned man believes.
Ken Peak, of Richardson Close, says he saw how Telford Bridge is coming away from its foundations when a dry spell decreased the level of the water flowing under the bridge.
It was originally built in the 1770s and was not designed, Ken says, to support the lorries which drive over it regularly - although the top has been reinforced, weight spread across the bridge’s width is putting pressure on its walls.
Ken says the foundations have not been reinforced and he has taken photos which appear to show a gap between the bridge and the river bed.
A Grade II listed crossing, the bridge arches over the River Colne and is on the main route between the North Orbital Road to the north and the Bell roundabout and the M25 to the south.
He said: “No water allowed us to see what has happened to the river bed and the bridge, and it is horrific.
“They have already replaced the top part of the bridge but it still rests on its original support, and if the size of the trucks that have been going over it means the underside can no longer stand it, the whole thing will go conk.
“It’s an urgent case to review. It would be absolute chaos.”
Ken believes the River Colne was blocked by trees from Broad Colney Lakes, which was recently sold to an anonymous bidder by the Herts and Middlesex Wiildlife Trust (HMWT).
A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), which is responsible for bridges, said: “We inspect all HCC bridges on a regular basis to ensure they remain safe and operational.
“Information from these inspections helps us to prepare our programmes of strengthening and maintenance work.
“In the case of this particular bridge, there is a brick lining to the river bed, and around the bottom of the bridge piers, to protect them from damage by the water. The water has started to erode the ground under the brick protection. However, this is not currently affecting the bridge.
“We are aware of the issue and are considering what works may be needed to ensure that the erosion does not damage the bridge itself in the future.”