Sluice Channel Bridge Works 2019
REPAIRS, RESTORATION & A NEW LOW-MAINTENANCE BRIDGE
Starting week commencing 14th January, Avon Construction will be undertaking improvement works to the bridge over the sluice channel that links the park’s lagoon to Poole Harbour.
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 existing bridge over the sluice gate is 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 have not fared so well and the bridge has required replacement for several years.
A new bridge
Once all the existing condemned elements are removed, a new Fibre Reinforced Polymer bridge will 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 will then be installed to both sides of the bridge, and surfacing brought through.
The existing Victorian brick piers will be restored sympathetically, and in time information panels will be added explaining the importance of the sluice channel to Poole Park’s recreation and wildlife.
Impact on park users
We will need to close the path along the railway line for the duration of the works, which is likely to be until the end of March or early April. Signage and security fencing will be in place to advise park users.
The Poole parkrun course will be temporarily re-routed during the period of works.