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Transport Schemes

Evesham Abbey Bridge and Viaduct

Frequently Asked Questions

Background Information

Worcestershire County Council has secured funding from the Government to rebuild Evesham’s Abbey Bridge and Viaduct. This important project will ensure Evesham Town Centre keeps its vital link across the River Avon, boosting the town’s economy for years to come.

The new Abbey Bridge and ViaductThe existing bridge has been slowly deteriorating for more than 60 years, despite regular maintenance work. It is now in a state where it needs to be replaced.

Following a full tender process Hochtief Construction has been awarded the design and build contract. Its portfolio of work includes the replacement of the Paddington Bridge in London, and the Stratford Bridge: an impressive two-lane highway bridge linking the Olympic Park to the Stratford City Development.

It's previously been confirmed the link across the River Avon will be closed to traffic for only 10 weeks from mid-September (ensuring the link is open in the run-up to Christmas) whilst the new Abbey Bridge and Viaduct is constructed – considerably less than the 12 months first anticipated.

For the vast majority of the project, vehicles will still be able to cross into and out of the historic market town. The link will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists. Disabled access will be maintained.

Flooding, heavy snowfall and prolonged freezing temperatures experienced this winter has resulted in some elements of the replacement project being delayed.

To significantly increase the construction and to make time back on the programme, from May, work will take place on both sides of the structure simultaneously. Whilst this work takes place pedestrian access to the bridge will not be available.

Questions

  1. What is wrong with the existing structures?
  2. What is the preferred option?
  3. What other options have been considered?
  4. Why were other options discounted?
  5. How much will it cost and who is going to pay for the project?
  6. Is the funding from Department for Transport a certainty?
  7. What are the main factors in securing funding?
  8. How confident are we that bidding will be successful. When will the DfT make it's decision?
  9. What happens if the bid is unsuccessful?
  10. If funding is secured, when is the construction work expected to commence?
  11. When will a contractor be appointed?
  12. How long will the project construction take?
  13. How long will the bridge be closed to vehicular traffic?
  14. What happens to pedestrians and cyclists during construction?
  15. Will the contractor be made to make the closure as short as possible?
  16. What happens to traffic while the bridge is closed?
  17. How will the contractor be selected?
  18. Will representatives of the Evesham Community be involved in selecting the bridge designs?

Answers

  1. Q. What is wrong with the existing structures?
    A. The structures are suffering corrosion of the reinforcing steels which is causing a loss in weight carrying capacity
  2. Q. What is the preferred option?
    A. To replace the existing Bridge and Viaduct with new structures designed and built to latest standards on the same alignment as the existing.
  3. Q. What other options have been considered?
    A. Repair and strengthening of the existing, rebuilding on a different alignment, erecting a temporary bailey bridge off line and then rebuilding on line.
  4. Q. Why were other options discounted?
    A. Building the new structure away from the current alignment is more expensive, cause a significant lowering of capacity to the traffic light controlled junction and will cause a significant impact of the meadows. The temporary bailey solution is also a much more expensive scheme.

    Repairing does not give a long term robust solution, maintenance will have to continue and there is the potential of doing it all again in the medium term future.
  5. Q. How much will it cost and who is going to pay for the project?
    A. The project is estimated at around £13m. WCC will fund approximately £4m  with the rest coming from a Department for Transport grant.
  6. Q. Is the funding from Department for Transport a certainty?
    A. No. The funding request to the Department for Transport is part of a national funding competition. Schemes from around the country are bidding for funds. National funding requests amount to approximately 1.5 times the amount of funding available.
  7. Q. What are the main factors in securing funding?
    A. Benefits of the project, local support, robust budgeting, acceptance of risks by the local authority and deliverability by 2015.
  8. Q. How confident are we that bidding will be successful. When will the DfT make it's decision?
    A. Indications we have received so far would suggest that the County Council has put together a very strong bid. The Department for Transport (DfT) will make a final decision in December 2011.
  9. Q. What happens if the bid is unsuccessful?
    A. It is unlikely that we would be able to bid for funding again until after 2015. The County Council will review the options after the December 2011 decision.
  10. Q. If funding is secured, when is the construction work expected to commence?
    A. 2013
  11. Q. When will a contractor be appointed?
    A. As soon as DfT confirm funding, a contractor will be appointed to design, obtain planning permission and rebuild the structures
  12. Q. How long will the project construction take?
    A. Completion is expected in 2015
  13. Q. How long will the bridge be closed to vehicular traffic?
    A. This is dependant on the winning contractor's programme, but is expected to be about a year.
  14. Q. What happens to pedestrians and cyclists during construction?
    A. A temporary cycle and footbridge will be provided by the contractor
  15. Q. Will the contractor be made to make the closure as short as possible?
    A. The tender is written in a way to encourage the contractor to deliver the scheme in the shortest time possible as part of the contract.
  16. Q. What happens to traffic while the bridge is closed?
    A. A detailed traffic management plan will be implemented as part of any Bridge closure. More information will be given once the funding has been secured.
  17. Q. How will the contractor be selected?
    A. There is a defined tender evaluation procedure where cost, aesthetics, duration of closure and quality of submission are assessed and scored.
  18. Q. Will representatives of the Evesham Community be involved in selecting the bridge designs?
    A. Yes. Representatives will form part of a panel to judge the aesthetics of the designs.

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This page was last reviewed 26 July 2013 at 11:50.
The page is next due for review 22 January 2015.