Colwall bridge reopens

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Colwall bridge reopens

Posted: 01/07/2009 00:03:43

Traffic has been allowed over Colwall’s new £1.5 million railway bridge for the first time on Friday last week, June 26, after workmen completed work on site.

The bridge had been closed in August 2007 due to concerns over its strength. It had been re-opened to light traffic in December 2007 following structural analysis and the installation of a safe route over the bridge.

Herefordshire Council worked with Network Rail, the owners of the bridge, to fast-track the construction of the new bridge. It would normally take around three years for a bridge like this to be designed and built – the Colwall bridge has been built in just half this time.

“At a public meeting last year the council, along with Network Rail – the bridge’s owner – committed to getting this replacement bridge built as quickly as possible,” said Cllr Brian Wilcox, Herefordshire Council’s cabinet member for highways and transportation.

Following the accelerated design, approval and procurement process, construction work began in January this year with the installation of a temporary footbridge and the closure of the bridge.

Services were diverted off the bridge which allowed the old bridge to be demolished in February and the new bridge beams installed in early March.

The demolition and beam installation were achieved over weekends when train services were halted to facilitate the construction work.

Works were completed with the construction of the bridge deck, bridge parapets, safety fencing, surfacing and lighting. Some works to the lighting are still to be completed and this will be done at the earliest opportunity now that the bridge is open.

“This bridge is vital to the communities in and around Colwall,” added Cllr Wilcox.

“I’m delighted that the day has finally come and local residents and businesses in and around the village can now use the bridge.”

The new bridge – which has a single lane controlled by traffic lights - includes wider footways on both sides of the carriageway to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists to use.

Chris Rayner, route director, Network Rail said: “Network Rail is delighted that this project has reached completion both on time and within budget. I would like to take this opportunity to thank local residents for their patience and support during the work.

“We hope that the weekly communications have proved both interesting and have helped give residents a better understanding of this essential work.”

A formal opening of the bridge is planned to take place in September.


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