A 40t lorry attempted to cross a 184-year-old suspension bridge with a weight limit of just 3t, forcing the historic structure to close for the foreseeable future.
Buckinghamshire County Council said that the incident occurred late in the evening on Saturday 24 September. It said that not only was the vehicle 10 times over the weight limit, potentially causing severe structural damage, but it then became stuck between the traffic calming measures on the Marlow side of the bridge.
Marlow Town Council said: “Due to this irresponsible act, and the forthcoming structural survey by Buckinghamshire County Council, the bridge is now closed to traffic for obvious safety reasons. One side of the bridge remains open for pedestrian crossing. The effects of this closure are widespread, as drivers seek an alternative route to the A404 and beyond. Expect delays.”
The company responsible for the lorry, Girteka Logistics, tweeted: “We are very sorry to cause incident on #MarlowBridge. We already placed #GPS alarm on this area for trucks never to come here again.”
Marlow Town Council mayor commented: “We know it is really important that the impact on the structure of the bridge is assessed and work undertaken as quickly as possible. The bridge will therefore be out of use during this period, the safety of its users being of paramount importance.”
Marlow Town Council said that Girteka Logistics had accepted responsibility for the damage. It added that the Lithuanian logistics company’s insurer was working very closely with Buckinghamshire County Council and the structural engineers to repair the bridge as soon as was practicably possible.
The road was closed for almost two weeks in August to allow the Buckinghamshire County Council to carry out unrelated major maintenance works for bridge towers, roof and general repairs for the bridge width restrictions islands and principal inspection of the bridge chains, and to survey the condition of the bridge decking and railing.