Thursday, 24 June 2021

Toll bridge work still at standstill

THE refurbishment of Whitchurch toll bridge remains at a standstill due to the high level of the Thames.

However, the company which owns the bridge still believes it will be able to finish the overhaul by its revised deadline of July.

Although the river has fallen by almost 50cm since its peak on February 9, the water is still 80cm above its usual level.

The bridge project was supposed to finish in April but this was changed after floods in January.

A company spokesman said: “Work will start as soon as it is safe to do so but there is currently no estimate as to when this may be.” The river must be open to boats by March 31.

Balfour Beatty, the bridge company’s contractor, said: “We will complete this project as soon as safely possible.”

Meanwhile, Henley MP John Howell attended a meeting with Network Rail and First Great Western officials to discuss the severe impact on services as a result of the floods.

He was told the track in the Maidenhead area had been raised, a new power supply installed and an alternate train detection method introduced.

Mr Howell said: “The effect of these changes will hopefully be to ensure that future flooding does not have the same impact. I also look forward to First Great Western announcing its compensation package for passengers caught up in this terrible experience.”

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