An engineering company is in the process of designing the necessary supports for the temporary bridge which has been commissioned from a bridge construction firm and is progressing its works to build the temporary footway. Space is also being cleared at the lift site for the crane that will be needed to remove the old footway and install the temporary one. Once in place, it will need to be fully tested before it can be opened.
All of the works are programmed so that the cliff lift will be open to the public from Tuesday 21st July. In the meantime, the Shanklin Steamer bus service is in operation which picks up passengers from the town centre and visits the Esplanade.
Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Isle of Wight Council leader, said:
“When I met with businesses in Shanklin I gave a commitment that the council would look to make temporary repairs to the lift this year and to effect permanent repairs in the future. The current progress with works on the cliff lift are a demonstration of that commitment. There may still be issues that we uncover as we progress works to install the temporary bridge so I am cautious but optimistic about achieving the reopening on the identified date.
“However, we have a planned opening date to aim for and we are very hopeful we can meet it.”
The council remains committed to a permanent replacement bridge and in May, members of the council’s Executive approved proposals to spend over £700,000 on long-term repairs at the lift, including installing a permanent footbridge and replacing the lift’s plant machinery.