The rehabilitation of the Pont Vell de Montblanc begins three years after the great flood

Three years after the serious floods that affected the Conca de Barberà, last week the rehabilitation works began on the Pont Vell de Montblanc, an infrastructure that dates back to the 12th century but it is not ruled out that it can date back to Roman times. The budget for the work is one and a half million euros. The works not only affect the bridge but also its surroundings and the execution period is nine months. The works are complemented by some already awarded months ago.

The highlight of the project is the proposed replacement of the old, virtually missing bridge sills or railings. It must be taken into account that these had been remade on multiple occasions after being damaged in different floods; It was from the year 1965 the last refurbishment and from the year 1974 the execution of its crowning with a piece of stone. The project plans to remake these elements with low walls made with stone pieces of a regular format, with a different format from the one that makes up the structure, reusing the aforementioned pre-existing copings that have largely been recovered.

The new solution foresees a drop between the railings and the original structure of the bridge, so that in the event of a large flood episode like the one in 2019, the railings detach easily and do not act as a barrier to the passage of water. The refurbishment of the railings is used to carry out the passage through the interior of the bridge's lighting channels and house some beacons that will provide adequate and well-integrated lighting throughout the passage area.

Bridge and railings will be unlinked so that, if there is flooding, they detach and do not plug

Another important aspect of the new configuration is the proposal to build some steps attached to the walls that contain the earth from the embankments of the two ends of the bridge, but only in their corresponding downstream corners. These structures, in principle, respond to the hydraulic needs of protecting the base of those walls against the undermining effect caused by the water that, in the episode such as that of the year 2019, exceeds the street level, at these points of lower elevation. than the bridge deck, falling hard

due to the sudden unevenness that the embankment walls themselves create.

The mayor, Josep Andreu, acknowledges that it has taken so long to tender the works due to the delay in receiving the subsidies from the institutions. That of the Generalitat was received on December 20 and that of the State, on January 30.

The fundamental conditioning factors of the project have been to structurally stabilize the Pont Vell; recover its functionality, pavements, sills and lighting; recover the existing heritage image until the 2019 flood; to expose, as far as possible, the archaeological finds, and finally to facilitate the circulation of water below, above and through the surroundings of the old bridge, facilitating hydraulic drainage. The drafters of the project make it clear that it is a current action, not a historical reconstruction.

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