The Department of Infrastructure is preparing to carry out a major refurbishment of Cain Bridge in Castletown.
The swingbridge, which provides pedestrian access across the town’s harbour, is in need of attention after many decades of exposure to the elements.
A number of important parts will be replaced or repaired, including the main slewing ring and rollers which help to open and close the bridge when vessels require passage. Work will also take place to tackle areas of corrosion across the entire structure.
To enable the refurbishment to be completed as efficiently as possible, the bridge will be craned out of position and transported by road to a covered workshop.
Work is scheduled to start on Wednesday 4 October. The Department is continuing to liaise with Castletown Commissioners and will contact nearby property owners to provide an update about the scheme.
The refurbishment was original programmed to take place before Easter, but the Department’s staff had to be diverted to a different project at short notice.
Improvements to the bridge, named after Manx war hero Major Robert Cain who won the Victoria Cross for his gallantry and leadership at the Battle of Arnhem in 1944, are part of a comprehensive programme of work to maintain the Island’s structural assets.
Tim Baker MHK, Department Member with responsibility for Ports, said: ‘Cain Bridge is a key part of Castletown’s infrastructure and is in need of an overhaul as it is showing signs of wear and tear. Removing the structure and taking it to an indoor facility will ensure that work can progress without any delays caused by bad weather. The footbridge is well used and our intention is to minimise any inconvenience by having it back in place as quickly as possible.’
He added: ‘This is another example of how the Department is continuing to invest in the long-term integrity of the Island’s highways and structures such as harbours, breakwaters, bridges and retaining walls. Carrying out routine maintenance now means we can avoid the need for more costly interventions in the future.’