Somerset

Bridge in Taunton needs weekly jet wash

Glass bridge in Taunton
Image caption Permanent repairs to the bridge will cost about £24,000

A hi-tech glass bridge is having to be jet washed every week to stop it from cracking.

The 34m-long walkway (113ft) links Castle Green to Goodland Gardens near the museum in Taunton, Somerset.

Unless it is kept clean, debris builds up between the panels and could lead to them breaking.

The cost of washing the bridge is about £10,000 a year and now council leaders are considering spending £11,000 on permanent repairs.

Norman Cavill, who is responsible for Taunton Deane Borough Council's economic development, said the jet washing has to be done because of the bridge's design.

'Look unsightly'

He said: "Although some power washing was expected, it was certainly not expected that in between the glass and the edge so much detritus could build up and require a weekly wash.

"With the grit and the slight movement of some of the panes, they can delaminate which will then cause them to crack and look unsightly.

"Eventually they would fail, but they're a long way from ever letting anybody drop through them."

Permanent repairs involving the installation of spacers and silicone sealant to protect the glass will cost almost £24,000.

Just over half the cost will be paid for by contractor Britannia Construction.

Mr Cavill added: "For £11,000 Taunton Deane tax payers can improve the design and that should do away with the feature of jet washing."

The idea is due to be discussed at a council meeting later and it is hoped work will begin early next year.

The bridge won an award for engineering excellence last year.

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