A team of volunteer workers cleaning up the canal paths in the Westover ward of Bridgwater have drawn councillors attention to serious structural damage around the Albert street Bridge which they felt needed investigating. ‘Green Team’ worker Chris Lock posted photos of cracks in the canal walls supporting the bridge and the cuttings and alerted people to what look like a worsening problem.
Chris Lock said “It’s looking bad. It will take one big knock and it will come down. Plus the wall holding the soil back has come out. God forbid I really hope this doesn’t come down on someone. This part of the wall is really unsafe.”
Cllr Brian Smedley visited the site and raised the concerns with Sedgemoor District Council’s Environment Depart who sent Building Control to have a look.
Dave Coles from Sedgemoor said “We sent Building Control immediatly to assess the cracked wall and whilst they don’t feel it poses an immediate risk we think some form of remedial work may be required and have therefore referred it to the relevant department at SDC to monitor and undertake any works that might be necessary to ensure any issues are addressed.”
Cllr Smedley added “We know that Homes in Sedgemoor did works on the road side of the bridge about 5 years ago and installed the railings to restrict access to the wall, so there’s clearly some history of concern with the site. But I am particularly concerned because this is right next to the area in West street where there was a major landslip some years back when the old school collapsed into the canal and you can still see the sizeable repair works (the different bricking). This needs addressing-because it;s like a crack in a windscreen,it’ll never go away and it’ll only get worse, so they need to get on with it. “
Tributes have been pouring in across social media for Chris and his team who have done such a great job in tidying up the stretch of canal and for alerting the authorities to the cracks in the Albert street bridge.