The bridge on the Broughs coastal footpath in Port Erin is shortly to be removed – weather permitting – and further investigations made into the state of the path with a view to re-opening it to members of the public.
The path was closed after a water main burst and de-stabilised the bank – and bridge – in 2006.
Last September, engineers assessed the condition of the buttresses and bridge.
Over the coming weeks, a large crane will remove the old bridge and there is a road closure order at Traie Meanagh Drive for the next three weeks.
‘We will clear the site to enable us to assess how we do a replacement (bridge), then we will work on a plan,’ said commissioners’ clerk Jason Roberts. ‘This is the first phase to see whether it will progress and if it’s worthwhile spending money on it.’
Since 2006, the authority has investigated various solutions but they were all deemed too costly or ineffective in the long term.
In 2011, commissioner Nick Watterson proposed the board looked once more for a solution and asked the Department of Infrastructure (DoI) for its help.
DoI director of highways Richard Pearson replied that the footpath was not a public right of way. The path could be adopted if the owner makes that request, or if it has been in use for more than 21 years. But the path would have to be repaired before adoption.
The authority resolved to research re-opening what commissioners’ chairman Lorna MacKellar said is ‘one of the gems of Port Erin’.