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This is when Sandwich Tollbridge will reopen - but more work is still required

Sandwich Tollbridge will reopen tonight two weeks after it broke, but more repair work is still required.

Specialist mechanical and electrical engineers working on behalf of Kent County Council have successfully refurbished a hydraulic unit enabling it to open manually.

Following a number of test openings this morning, the swing bridge which runs over the River Stour, will be made accessible to traffic and pedestrians by 6pm.

Sandwich Tollbridge will reopen
Sandwich Tollbridge will reopen

A KCC spokesman said: "KCC is pleased to report that the Sandwich Tollbridge is once again operational and the road will be reopened by about 6pm this evening.

"The temporary shuttle bus will be suspended once the road has been reopened to traffic.

"The existing secondary hydraulic unit has been successfully refurbished and a number of test openings have been carried out this morning to prove a revised manual opening procedure.

"The new secondary hydraulic unit ordered last week is due to be delivered week commencing August 8 and will provide additional backup during the period manual operation is required to continue.

"A detailed inspection of the structure has been carried out today and a specialist inspection of the mechanical and electrical equipment will follow during the first week of July to inform further work to repair the bridge."

Sandwich Tollbridge was unable to close after its opened to let a vessel pass through on June 9
Sandwich Tollbridge was unable to close after its opened to let a vessel pass through on June 9

Sandwich Toll Bridge has not been reliably opened since December due to hydraulic and control issues.

The council had confirmed it was looking into a major overhaul but had not finalised a programme of repair.

Around 5.30pm on Sunday, June 9, the matter was taken out of their control when the bridge was opened to allow a vessel to pass through but could not be closed.

It has caused issues to both road traffic, which was diverted via the A256 Sandwich Bypass, and pedestrians who walk or cycle from the town to Discovery Park.

Since then a shuttle bus service has been in place running from 8am until 10pm daily.

It was also announced that a temporary footbridge would not be installed due to the time and expense.

Investigations found it would take three months to build and a further two months to install with an overall cost of £275,000.

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