St John’s Road Station Bridge
On August 27th 1964 it was stated that St. John’s-road railway bridge was to be closed for motor vehicles for six weeks for repairs. A British Railways spokesman at Waterloo had discounted local rumours that the bridge skeleton was cracked.
Five years later it was found necessary to completely renew the bridge structure.
In February 1969 the local Press stated that British Rail had announced the 10th March as the day when three to four months long repairs to the St John’s Railway Bridge would begin. During that period vehicles would have to make a detour via Monkton Street, Strand and East Hill Road, and vice versa. The Roads Committee had formally recommended the prohibition of traffic from that date initially for six weeks. Application had also been made to the Minister of Transport for the approval of the order continuing in force until the work was completed.
A diversion route junction being used by heavy traffic while the St. John’s Road Bridge at Ryde was under repair caved in early on 19th March 1969. The sewer pipe running beneath the corner of Monkton Street and Park Road collapsed, opening a six-foot deep hole in the highway. It couldn’t have come at a worse time. Before repairs could be carried out, the hole would have to be widened and dug out to a depth of 10 feet. A traffic warden and police were directing single line traffic which included frequent double-decker buses trundling past the hole while corporation men worked at top speed on repairs. How long the repairs would take was uncertain; much could depend on the weather.
Photo (left) showing the new girders being put in place. Photo (right) when the old girders were taken out.
In June 1969 work on the St. John’s Road Bridge, at Ryde, was nearing completion. It had been closed to traffic since March 10th, it was due to be open again shortly. The structure of the bridge, which spans the Ryde-Shanklin railway line, has been completely renewed.
Sources: RSHG Archive Roy Brinton Collection & Isle of Wight Times