The railway bridge over part of Worcester's Southern Link Road is set to be extended later this month.
The extension to the bridge, which has initially been built next to where it will eventually live, has been under construction for the past few months. At the end of May, the 1,500 tonne bridge will be manoeuvred into place using specialist equipment.
The extension of the railway bridge will support the dualling of the A4440 between the Norton and Whittington roundabouts. When the dualling has been completed in this area, all eastbound (uphill) traffic will travel on two lanes beneath the existing railway bridge and westbound (downhill) traffic will travel on two lanes beneath the bridge extension.
Excavation for the new part of the bridge and the moving of the bridge extension into its final resting place will take place during a full closure of the A4440, including the footway, between the Norton and Whittington roundabouts, between 8pm on Thursday 24th May and 6am on Friday 1st June.
A diversion route will be signposted and signs with advanced warning of the closure will be on site. A map showing the diversion route can be found below. The County Council website and its Travel Twitter feed will be kept updated with progress of the works throughout the closure.
Diversion Route Map
A rail closure will also be needed to complete the works to extend the railway bridge. Replacement buses will be provided by Great Western Railway (GWR) to minimise disruption to rail users during the closure which is for a slightly shorter period than the road closure (Saturday 26th May to Thursday 31th May inclusive). Rail users will be given advanced notice of these arrangements by GWR and the other Train Operating Companies whose services will be affected.
Dualling from the M5 to Powick
The A4440 Worcester Southern Link Road (SLR) is an essential part of Worcestershire’s strategic road network and provides an important link between the M5, South and West Worcester, Great Malvern, the wider Malvern Hills district, Ledbury, Upton and Herefordshire.
The A4440 SLR is also an important bypass to the city centre and provides one of only two road crossings of the River Severn in Worcester City. It therefore offers an important, alternative route to the city centre.
The intention is to dual the entire length from the M5 to the Powick roundabout, this cannot be achieved in one stage, mainly due to the size of the overall scheme and the availability of funding. Therefore, the scheme is being delivered in stages.
The final stage of works will be to dual the road from the Ketch roundabout to the Powick roundabout which includes an additional bridge to accommodate the extra 2 lanes of traffic needed.
Department for Transport (DfT) announced £54.5m of funding to build the new bridge and viaduct.
What has been achieved so far
- Fully dualled between Ketch and Norton roundabouts
- Increased the size of Ketch and Norton roundabouts to improve capacity
- Dualling between Whittington and Norton
- Funding secured from DfT for building of the additional bridge over the river Severn between Ketch and Powick
- Extend the railway bridge to enable 2 lanes going up and 2 lanes going down from Whittington to Norton roundabouts
- Complete the dualling between Whittington and Norton
- Dualling between Ketch and Powick including the building of an additional bridge over the River Severn – more info on this phase, see the Phase 4: The Ketch to Powick page
Funding for total scheme comes from a variety of sources including:
- DfT Worcestershire County Council
- Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership
- Developer / Third Party contributions
- The SLR is used by over 30000 cars each week day
- There will be 24 kilometres of new and resurfaced lanes once the work is complete
- Over 4000 trees will have been planted along route
- 23,500 tonnes of resurfacing materials have been used so far