Gunnislake Newbridge will be closed from 9:30am-3:30pm tomorrow (Wednesday 10 April) and on Thursday (11 April) for emergency work after a small hole was found in one of its piers.

Initial inspections by Devon County Council have not raised any immediate structural concerns with the Grade One listed bridge. However, it’s essential that action is taken as soon as possible to fill the hole at water-level in order to protect the structure.

Subject to the weather and the water levels permitting, engineers will use concrete filled sandbags to pack the void in the cutwater. A reinforced ‘deflector’ will also be attached to the base of the pier to guard against any further damage until a more permanent repair can be carried out this summer, when water levels should be lower.

While the bridge is closed, teams will also try and remove as many large trees as possible which have fallen into this section of the River Tamar, but it’s likely they will have to come back during lower flows to complete this removal work.

Permanent repairs can’t be made to the bridge at the moment because the water level of the river is too high. When they are undertaken the repairs will be like for like, using lime mortar and, where possible, reusing existing stone.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “The ongoing wet weather is keeping river levels high with a lot of tree debris ending up in the water, and it’s unfortunate that this has led to the bridge being damaged.

“This bridge was built circa 1520, with sections rebuilt in 1773, so it’s important that we take this emergency action to protect it.

“This work can’t be carried out without a closure and we’re sorry that it will cause some inconvenience, but every effort will be made to reopen the bridge as soon as possible.”

An official signed diversion will be in place via the A390 Callington, A388, B3362, A390 and vice versa.