Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Flooding delays bridge re-build

THE re-opening of Whitchurch toll bridge has been set back by three months.

It shut for refurbishment in October and was due to re-open on April 14.

However, the private company which owns the bridge now says it will be closed until July.

The work was delayed in its first month when engineers Birse Civils discovered the bridge was at risk of collapse.

They had to stop and come up with a new plan for taking the old structure apart, which set the project back by about six weeks.

Balfour Beatty, the company’s main contractor, had hoped it would be able to make up for the lost time.

This week, however, it said this would not be possible because of high river levels throughout January.

Mike Beckley, the bridge company’s chairman, said: “The company very much regrets the inconvenience that the delay to the re-opening will cause to local residents, residents on the diversionary routes and local businesses.

“We will continue to press Balfour Beatty to complete the works as soon as possible.

“[Our] project management team will continue to work collaboratively with Balfour Beatty to evaluate all opportunities for saving time during the remainder of the project.”

An exact date for the re-opening has not yet been confirmed.

For more on this story, see this week’s Henley Standard.

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