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We are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of:

  • Road bridges
  • Footbridges
  • Subways
  • Retaining walls - where they are supporting highways.

Works are carried out under the requirements and powers of the Highways Act 1980.

For the purposes of the act we are adopting an asset management approach.

Bridges are inspected every two years with a more detailed inspection done every six years.

The inspections are used to generate condition indicators and maintenance programmes.

The main type of inspection consists of the Bridge Inspector assessing the structure at ground level and filling in an Inspection Report form detailing the condition of the various parts of the structure and listing any maintenance required.

Other more detailed inspections are also carried out on certain structures.

The works undertaken within the section:

  • Checking for abnormal load movements, taking into account height and weight limitations
  • Carrying out maintenance and new design
  • Giving guidance to developers

Bridges and structures over or under the motorways in St Helens are owned by the Highways Agency and are maintained by Balfour Beatty / Mott MacDonald – telephone: 0203 462 1900.

Railway bridges over the roads in St Helens are owned by Network Rail, but we are responsible for erecting and maintaining the headroom signs on these bridges.

To report damage to a railway bridge caused by a high vehicle, call the Network Rail helpline on 08457 114141.

The maximum permitted weight of vehicles on UK roads is 44 tonnes.

All bridges have had to be assessed to see if they can sustain this loading safely. Pending any necessary strengthening, public safety is maintained on those bridges assessed as weak by using temporary restrictions or other interim measures.

Work carried out under the strengthening programme gives priority to principal road bridges.

For sub-standard bridges on the non-principal road network, decisions are made whether to permanently restrict rather than strengthen.

Each bridge is considered on its merits taking into account safety, economic and environmental factors.

There are a number of bridges in the borough with a headroom below the national standard of 5.03m.

In the event of a vehicle striking any of these bridges, the Bridge Strike Plan outlines the procedure to be followed:

  • Bridge location
  • Bridge photograph
  • Headroom details
  • Who to contact
  • The diversion route.

Bridge Strike Plan (September 2016)