AS the six-month refurbishment of Taunton’s Grade II-listed Town Bridge comes to a close, we’re looking back seven years to when locals were entertained by works on another of the town’s historic bridges.

Scores of people watched as the disused rail bridge over Station Road was removed on Wednesday 25, 2016. The week-long spectacle began when workers moved in that Monday to prepare to dismantle the Victorian structure, with a crane arriving on the scene the following day.

Some of the panels were removed and the crane swung into action on the morning of May 25, taking out the sides as bystanders caught the action on video and took photos. A section of Station Road was closed for several days as the works were carried out, although traders did not report any noticeable slump in business. 

A replacement road bridge was installed several months later in September 2016. The new bridge was designed to preserve the area’s look using the refurbished historic steel edge beams from the old construction, a County Hall spokesman said at the time. The bridge connects the two sections of the mile-long Northern Inner Distributor Road (NIDR), which runs from Staplegrove Road at Chip Lane to Priory Avenue and cost an estimated £31 million to build.

Replacement bridges were also fitted at the level crossing at Silk Mills, the Third Way connecting Castle Street to Bridge Street, and near the Priory Avenue end of the NIDR in the years leading up to the road being built.

The road was designed to help ease congestion in the town centre and along Greenway and Priorswood Roads. It was hoped it would kickstart a multi-million-pound development of homes, shops, offices and leisure facilities, including a cinema, at the derelict former livestock market at Firepool.

Now, with the Firepool Centre for Digital Innovation set to open this Thursday, May 30, do you think Somerset Council’s regeneration of the site has been successful?