Sluice Channel Bridge Works 2019
REPAIRS, RESTORATION & A NEW LOW-MAINTENANCE BRIDGE
Week commencing 14th January, Avon Construction made a start on repairs and renovations to the bridge over the sluice channel that links the park’s lagoon to Poole Harbour. Works were completed in April.
The sluice channel was probably the most critical part of the park’s development following construction of the railway embankment in 1872, cutting off Parkstone Bay from the sea and creating a salt-water lake. The channel maintains the link to salt water in the harbour and allows the management of the water, historically as a boating lake, but more recently as a sluice-controlled saline lagoon. The monthly exchange of water with Poole Harbour helps to maintain salinity levels in the lagoon and support the rare species that live there.
The new bridge
Once all the condemned elements were removed, a new Fibre Reinforced Polymer bridge was be swung into place, lifted in two pieces. This material is lightweight but incredibly strong and should require the absolute minimum of future maintenance.
New parapet railings have been installed to both sides of the bridge, and surfacing brought through.
The original Victorian brick piers have been restored sympathetically, and in time information panels will be added explaining the importance of the sluice channel to Poole Park’s recreation and wildlife.
The old bridge over the sluice gate was a simple concrete slab sat on brick abutments. The brickwork, as with the brick piers at park entrances, is original to the park and is typically in very good condition. The more modern interventions had not fared so well and the bridge had required replacement for several years.