A key travel route between Cookham and Bourne End has been closed due to safety concerns just weeks after it reopened following a six-month refurbishment project. 

Cookham Bridge was closed to motorists at around 6pm yesterday (March 31) after "two large concrete blocks" broke loose upstream and came into contact with the Grade-II listed structure.

Police were called to the scene and shut off access to the bridge "on safety grounds", ahead of a structural assessment to identify any damage to the bridge support legs.

Parish Councillor Anna-Louise Regan forwarded an email from a Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead emergency duty officer to residents in Cookham yesterday evening informing them of the closure.

The email read: "Two large concrete blocks which appear to be from a temporary mooring broke loose upstream and came into contact with Cookham Bridge (today).

Bucks Free Press:

"I have seen a video of the second block hitting the protective barrier in front of the bridge support leg and the impact appears to be low so I am confident there has not been any damage to the support leg which may have compromised the structural integrity of the bridge.

"However, one of the blocks is slowly sinking and there is a risk that this may become lodged underneath the bridge and cause some damage to the structure.

"I have therefore asked Volker Highways to put out some road closed signs at both sides of the bridge until I can get an engineer out to look at it and advise whether it can be reopened."

Bucks Free Press:

The officer said they had spoken to the Environment Agency, who advised them that the River Thames is currently closed to water traffic with a red river warning in place.

Adding: "If (the concrete blocks) do break free and flow downstream, they will get stuck at the weir, so there is no risk of them floating further downstream.

"They did cause some damage on their route to Cookham and have hit a few moored boats."

Bucks Free Press:

Cookham Bridge was originally closed in October 2023 for "essential maintenance" works including bearing replacement, re-waterproofing, resurfacing and joint replacement.

It reopened to road traffic ahead of schedule on Friday, March 15, with final works expected to continue until April and temporary signals remaining in place until the completion of the refurbishment project. 

Enforcement cameras were also installed on the bridge ahead of its reopening to ensure motorists adhere to its 7.5-tonne structural weight limit.