SPEAKING as a civil engineer with more than 40 years’ experience, re the ongoing saga of the upcoming swing bridge refurbishments.

The proposed methodology is to repair the structures in-situ, resulting in the closure of each route for six months.

I propose the following alternative: Establish a temporary works compound on a suitable parcel of canal-side land, in close proximity to the bridges. Peel Holdings own most of it so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Fabricate a temporary steel bridge, trough section or gantry, allowing for adjustment of length in the design to accommodate the three spans.

Close bridge one for a weekend, to facilitate transporting the temporary structure by barge, with a suitable crane on a second barge, capable of lifting the existing structure from its bearings.

As bridges go these are relatively small structures.

Lift bridge one onto a second barge and position the temporary bridge in place. Transport bridge one to the compound for refurbishment and open the road for unobstructed traffic on Monday morning.

The repairs, sand blasting, priming and painting can now be completed in a fraction of the time.

Replace bridge one on completion and repeat for bridges two and three, using the same temporary structure.

Traffic disruption would be limited to only a few weekend closures rather than months of misery. The additional costs of the temporary bridge, transportation and cranage would be offset by the resultant savings by carrying out the works remotely and the cost savings due to reduced delay and disruption to the economy.

Come on Peel Holdings, you know it makes sense.