Angry motorists attacking Doncaster bridge repair workers

Repair work gets underway at St. George's Bridge. Picture: Marie Caley NDOS Bridge MC 3
Repair work gets underway at St. George's Bridge. Picture: Marie Caley NDOS Bridge MC 3

Engineers working on St George’s Bridge are facing daily missile attacks and abuse from angry motorists, concerned bosses have revealed.

Staff working to complete repairs on the bridge, which have been causing delays for motorists, have been spat on and had objects including bottles and coins thrown at them as they try to work.

Managers and Doncaster Council bosses are furious about the abuse being meted out to the workmen.

Gary Jackson, site manager of Freyssinet, the main contractor for the ongoing works on the bridge, said workers have been shouted at and had missiles hurled at them.

“It can be bottles of pop, anything. It’s extremely frequent,” he said.

“I realise that the works on St George’s Bridge have caused some people some minor delays in their working or social days but it’s not acceptable.

“My staff and contractors are facing daily abuse by members of the public – shouting obscenities, spitting and throwing objects at them.

“Does this happen in your work place? If it did, would you accept it and carry on working? I didn’t think so.

“I would ask people to please respect the fact that my staff have carried on regardless in an effort to complete the work and prevent further delays.”

The bridge was built in 2001 and the mechanical expansion joints at both ends, like on all bridges, are only effective for a limited time.

Careful analysis earlier this year revealed the joints needed to be replaced.

The council also decided to undertake additional improvement work at the same time. The carriageway has been resurfaced, drainage has been enhanced and improvements have been made at the road junctions.

The works were split into three phase and the final phase began on June 28 and is expected to last for up to 10 weeks.

While the work is ongoing, St George’s Bridge is being used just for two-lane outbound traffic, with the two-lane traffic coming into Doncaster being directed over the North Bridge.

Mr Jackson added: “We are working extremely closely with Doncaster Council to keep delays to a minimum whilst ensuring that works on the bridge are completed in a timely and responsible manner.

“Night closures have been, and still will be, necessary to complete the works to the standards required by our company, Doncaster Council and legislation.

“We aim to have the bridge fully open by the beginning of September and in the meantime would request that people have a little patience and respect for the staff and contractors who are working around the clock to complete these repairs to give you back the bridge in a fully usable condition.”

Doncaster Council’s assistant director of Environment Gill Gillies said: “This sort of abuse will not be tolerated and we urge drivers to remain patient while these essential works take place. This is a large and complex project and we are working under the tightest timescales to get the work done as quickly as possible.”