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Author Topic: Bridge in Taunton needs weekly jet wash  (Read 9568 times)
Chris from Nailsea
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« on: December 11, 2014, 09:35:50 PM »

From the BBC:

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Bridge in Taunton needs weekly jet wash


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. 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.

It may have won awards, but I found, when walking across it on my way to the TravelWatch SouthWest meeting in October, that it was like a bluddy skating rink in the wet.  Shocked Roll Eyes
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bignosemac
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2014, 10:45:28 PM »

I can confirm it to be lacking in the necessary friction when damp. On both the surface types.

Just last week I slipped on it.

It also seems a rather pointless bridge. There was a perfectly serviceable step free footpath along the wall to the left and in front of Wyndham Lecture Hall, home of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society (the building left of centre in the photo), which linked Castle Green to Goodlands Gardens. All the bridge has succeeded in doing is cut a nice green space, which was formerly the moat around Taunton Castle, in half.

You can read the architectural b*ll*cks ideas about this bridge, that bridges nothing, at the following link:
http://www.bdonline.co.uk/drawing-board-taunton-castle-bridges-by-moxon-architects/5036668.article

« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 12:22:56 AM by bignosemac » Logged

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lordgoata
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2014, 10:57:24 AM »

These things always are - they are nothing more than show pieces for the architect/firm. They rebuilt our kayak club and did the same - sure it looked lovely, but was totally OTT, they run out of money so the parts that would have been useful never got finished, and then they whacked the fees up so high 8 of us (out of 11) left! Nuts.

Anyway I digress, those paving slabs with the raised knobbles on, which they often use at pedestrian crossings (around Slough at least), are LETHAL in the wet too. They are even worse on a bike on those "shared cycle paths". There is no common sense in existence any more  Sad
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chrisr_75
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2014, 01:21:46 PM »

Anyway I digress, those paving slabs with the raised knobbles on, which they often use at pedestrian crossings (around Slough at least), are LETHAL in the wet too. They are even worse on a bike on those "shared cycle paths". There is no common sense in existence any more  Sad

However, they are rather useful for those who have restricted vision or are blind to identify just where the pavement stops and some other place begins - I believe the knobbles are the size they are in order that they can be positively identified by someone using a 'cane' (or their feet!) before they reach the kerb edge. I think they're also along the edge of many rail platforms now - I seem to recall them at Paddington.

Bike tyres fit perfectly between the knobbles, so with a bit of decent positioning, they shouldn't be a problem!
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ChrisB
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2014, 01:35:07 PM »

Not much help if they're lethal in the wet though?....Ah, there's the edge of the ....wooaahh!

Just like the marble? surface in London stations these days - absolutely lethally slippery in the wet, and all they do is to put up yellow cones. Better to put those very large mats down frankly. Ah, but that costs money....

Staggered H&S allows those surfaces these days - and yes, some have been redone recently
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chrisr_75
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2014, 02:36:41 PM »

I can't say I've experienced any issues with slippery pavement knobbles myself (!!), maybe it's partly a footwear thing? Either way, if they are slippery for some, I can understand the dislike for them!

Totally agree about those dreadful floor tiles they have in many stations, while they undoubtably look the part, they are an absolute liability when wet and rather like walking on sheet ice.

I think the tiles are made from a material called terrazzo which is a composite:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrazzo
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lordgoata
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2014, 02:48:57 PM »

However, they are rather useful for those who have restricted vision or are blind to identify just where the pavement stops and some other place begins - I believe the knobbles are the size they are in order that they can be positively identified by someone using a 'cane' (or their feet!) before they reach the kerb edge. I think they're also along the edge of many rail platforms now - I seem to recall them at Paddington.

I appreciate that, but as Chris said, thats not much use if you slip over Smiley

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Bike tyres fit perfectly between the knobbles, so with a bit of decent positioning, they shouldn't be a problem!

THATS the problem - the bit between the knobbles is the slippery stuff! If the knobbles were closer together and less smooth area was there, they would be much less slippery - but perhaps not as much use to partially sighted people.

I do agree with the footwear though - some shoes are incredibly slippery on certain surfaces when its wet, yet others seem to be perfectly fine. When I was walking to work a few years ago, I could not cross a particular road - everytime I ventured out I slipped over (it was icy, not wet) - yet all the yoof just walked across. I couldn't fathom out if it was my shoes or the "fear" factor that I had in my head I would break my arm just before Christmas when I went flying! Either way, as soon as I did fall over I retreated home and worked from there instead Smiley

I do wear hiking shoes as I walk to and from home<->station<->work and have tried a number of brands, but still find most slippery. I think our rain is too wet, like our snow  Grin (as strangely enough, I didn't slip when walking around snowy Sweden in the same shoes!).
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bignosemac
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2014, 12:22:22 AM »

You can read the architectural b*ll*cks ideas about this bridge, that bridges nothing, at the following link:
http://www.bdonline.co.uk/drawing-board-taunton-castle-bridges-by-moxon-architects/5036668.article

I found the article linked above via Google. I note though that on subsequent clicks on the link one needs to register and pay a subscription to read it. Alternative link with much the same architectural b*ll*cks written:

http://www.e-architect.co.uk/england/castle-green-bridge-taunton

An extract:

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The trajectory of the bridge is gently curved, subtly yielding to the South West Tower of the Castle but maintaining a direct and simple route from one end of the site to the other. The deck is tapered to mitigate between the contrasting conditions at either end of the bridge. The false perspective set up by the taper, combined with the gentle curve, is contrived to visually shorten the uphill journey to the square while apparently prolonging the downhill stroll into the gardens. Key aspects of the design include a simple geometry that genuflects to the castle, the flexible placement of piers that have avoided disturbance to individual burial sites (which include of Saxon burials and the potential remains of a medieval church) beneath the bridge and materials and finishes that have been selected for clarity and high quality. The result is a scheme that has minimal impact on archaeology, whilst revealing the potential of the heritage assets.

I'm glad my walks between Goodlands Gardens and Castle Green are visually shortened even though the reality is they aren't. And I'm ecstatic that geometry has been used to allow me to genuflect to the castle. Well yes, if you slip on the damp surface you may well end up on one knee. But there won't be any deference to the castle. More likely some cursing directed at the idiots who thought this bridge and its ice rink surface was a good idea. Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

And just to labour the point. There was, prior to this 'bridge' a 'direct and simple route' from Castle Green to Goodlands Gardens. It was called a footpath.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 12:36:10 AM by bignosemac » Logged

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bignosemac
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2016, 12:59:38 PM »

Very nearly went for a Burton on this bridge just now. The metal strips running down the middle are very slippery when wet. Only just stayed upright.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2016, 02:24:46 PM by bignosemac » Logged

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