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Historic Cotswold Bridge reopens


Donnington Brewery Bridge at Upper Swell has reopened this week following major reconstruction by Gloucestershire County council.


Following repairs to the 19th century bridge which directs the B58 road over the River Dikler, the road is now completely open to all vehicles and pedestrians.

Donnington Bridge had been closed since November 2017 when initial work revealed some unexpected weaknesses in the under part of the structure.

The county council has strengthened the bridge so that it can be opened to traffic. Repointing of the headwalls and parapets above the three arches is ongoing.

The bridge’s design was agreed with the Cotswolds Conservation Board so that it fits into the local environment and keeps its Cotswold character.

Part of the strengthening work was extremely innovative. A bespoke ‘cured in place’ polyester liner impregnated with resin was put into the main bridge arch and inflated. It was then cured with UV light to gain structural strength.

This was a real challenge for the engineers who needed to do this when conditions were dry in the river channel under the bridge. To achieve the right conditions they dammed the river and over pumped the water flow.

Once this was complete, two pipes were put into the small side arches to protect them, and prevent them from collapsing in the future.

Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways said, “This was a very special rescue operation of a historic bridge that had been in serious disrepair. Our innovative renovation work has kept the original masonry and arches in place so that its charming Cotswold appearance can remain for generations to come – all this while making sure it’s strong enough to carry unrestricted traffic.”

Cllr Nigel Moor, local county councillor for Stow-on-the-Wold and cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said, “It’s wonderful to see Donnington Brewery Bridge open again and looking fantastic. It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago the stones, bricks and mortar were crumbling away. The bridge is used regularly by the local brewery and local people so our investment here is a great support to the area.”

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