While the majority of work has already been completed, a number of finishing touches still need to be carried out. This includes the installation of handrail lighting, surfacing, and snagging work to the steel structure of the new bridge.
Devon County Council has confirmed that all work is expected to be completed in the coming weeks, and then the new 19-metre span bridge and viewing areas will be officially opened to the public.
However, the Ham recreational area adjacent to the site will remain closed until Spring 2021, in order to allow time for turfing to become establish thoroughly.
Work on the new structure which is replacing the historic Alma Bridge began in August last year, but it was temporarily suspended during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown due to difficulties in ordering materials from supply chains.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management and local County Councillor for Sidmouth, said: "This project is nearing completion now and we’re aiming to open the new bridge in the coming weeks, with an official ceremony to mark the occasion. The contractor has had to overcome a number of challenges in unprecedented times but we’re almost there.
“We’d like to thank local residents for their patience – we’re as keen as everyone to open this bridge - but please bear with us just a little bit longer. We would also like to remind all members of the public, particularly those with children, of the dangers of construction sites. Security fencing will remain in place until all work is complete and unauthorised access is not permitted.”
The original Alma Bridge, which was damaged during severe floods in 2012, was removed from site in May this year.
Contractor MacPlant Construction Ltd is carrying out the project on behalf of Devon County Council.