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How the new floating bridge will look
How the new floating bridge will look

The current Cowes Floating Bridge will make its last crossing across the River Medina on 2nd January 2017, before the brand new £3.5 million floating bridge comes into service at the end of March 2017.

Following 40 years of dedicated service transporting passengers and vehicles between Cowes and East Cowes, the floating bridge will be pulled from service. It was built in 1975 and came into service on the River Medina in 1976. During its 40 year life it has operated 18 hours a day, 365 days a year, with a crossing time of no more than 2 and a half minutes every 10 to 15 minutes. In recent years it has transported approximately 1.5 million pedestrians and 400,000 vehicles per year.

In preparation for the arrival of the new floating bridge, funded by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, a replacement launch will operate for foot passengers from Tuesday 3rd January, which will remain in place until the new floating bridge commences service in late March 2017. Vehicles will be diverted via Newport. This will enable substantial reconstruction work to be carried out on both slipways, as well as minor highways works to improve access for foot passengers.

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Although the council and its contractors aim to complete the works with minimum disruption to the public, some noise will be inevitable due to the nature of the work and there will be some minor disruption on the adjacent footways and highways. The council would like to thank residents in advance for their patience while the work is undertaken.

Councillor Shirley Smart, Executive member for public transport and tourism, said:

“We are looking forward to the arrival of the new floating bridge which will have an increased capacity and improved facilities for foot passengers and cyclists. I am pleased that the construction of the new floating bridge is progressing well and look forward to seeing it start service this spring, serving the communities of Cowes and East Cowes for years to come.”

In January, the existing floating bridge will be moved to a nearby mooring on the River Medina until a buyer can be found. The council is currently inviting offers for its purchase and removal. An information pack containing copies of the original construction drawings, machinery details/layouts and a condition survey, together with a form of tender and the conditions of sale are available for anyone who wishes to make an offer to purchase the floating bridge.

To request a pack and for more information, contact Sean Newton (email: [email protected] or phone 01983 821000), no later than Friday 16th December 2016.

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