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The A4440 Worcester Southern Link Road Improvements

Major Infrastructure and Improvement Schemes

Southern Link Road

Latest updates

16 July 2018

An image of The A4440 Worcester Southern Link Road Improvements showing the new railway bridge


Work is progressing well with the County Council's ambition to fully dual Worcester's Southern Link Road from the M5 to the Powick roundabout.

Final touches are being made to the railway bridge extension which was moved into place at the end of May over part of the A4440, between the Whittington and Norton roundabouts. Work has also, this week, started to construct the road under the bridge so dualling of the road between these roundabouts can be completed. This is scheduled to be done by Spring 2019.

Whilst this work is taking place, preparation works for the final phase of dualling, between the Ketch and Powick roundabouts is continuing .

As part of this next phase to dual the road between the Ketch and Powick roundabouts, a new bridge needs to be constructed along with a viaduct and new road immediately to the south of the existing road. For the County Council to move forward with this, Western Power Distribution (WPD) needs to relocate one of their pylons which is next to the existing road.

As part of the pylon relocation process, the Southern Link Road between the Powick and Ketch roundabouts needs to be fully closed to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians overnight from 9.00pm to 5.00am the following morning on the evenings of Tuesday 24, Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 July.

This is to allow safety netting to be put up, between the structures on each side of the road, and the power cables to be moved onto a temporary pylon whilst a new, permanent pylon is being built further south west.

A diversion route will be signposted, taking road users along Bromwich Road, Tybridge Street, Deansway, Bath Road and vice-versa.

Three further overnight closures (9.00pm to 5.00am) to remove the netting and move the cables to the new pylon will be required on the evenings of Monday 20, Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 August. The same arrangements will be put in place for the diversion route and signage will be in place two weeks before the closures to remind road users of them.

21 June 2018

An image of a train passing over the new bridge on the A4440


Our contractor is currently putting the final touches to the railway bridge extension project, including drainage, earthworks and concrete "stitching". Once that is completed in the next few weeks, they will begin work to dual the road between Whittington and Norton roundabouts which is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2019.

13 June 2018

To see engineering in action, take a look at this video of the full works that took place recently to extend the railway bridge over part of Worcester's Southern Link Road.

Months of meticulous and collaborative planning along with amazing team work in the run up to, and during, the works to extend the bridge, enabled Worcestershire County Council to open the road ahead of schedule.

31 May 2018

A 1,500 tonne railway bridge extension over Worcester's Southern Link Road has been successfully manoeuvred into place

The bridge on the A4440 was moved into position on Sunday (27) by a team of 180 engineers who worked around the clock in 3 x 8 hour shifts and its addition marks another step closer to Worcestershire County Council reaching its aim of fully dualling the road from the M5 to Powick roundabout, Worcester.

The installation of the bridge follows months of preparatory works to get the area ready.

Following the removal of the track and after hours of excavation and soil removal, the bridge extension was located into place. The specialist machinery carefully moved the bridge in situ to within millimetres of the current bridge. Once the bridge was sited, the job of making it stable began.

The train line reopens Thurs (31) morning and Crookbarrow Way between the Whittington and Norton roundabouts has now reopened - 36 hours ahead of schedule.

21 May 2018

Southern Link Road (SLR) Railway Bridge Extension - engineering in action         

A new 1500 tonne railway bridge extension over one of Worcester's key roads is to be manoeuvred into place during a road and rail closure starting later this week.

The works on the Southern Link Road mark another step closer to Worcestershire County Council's aim to dual  the road from the M5 to Powick roundabout in Worcester.

This video shows an animation of the works due to take place over the coming weeks.

More than 22,000 tonnes of soil will be removed during the works which will be completed using specialist equipment.

During the road and rail closures, more than 4000 person hours and 60 different pieces of significant machinery will be needed to complete the bridge move.

The 1500 tonne bridge will be lifted as a whole and moved into place to within 30cm of the existing bridge using a piece of machinery called a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT). This machine is made up of individual modules with wheels that are manually controlled and able to move the lifted bridge in any direction.


Once moved into place, the new bridge is then fixed to the existing bridge and the area to the south is backfilled to make an embankment.

The new railway track will be replaced and tested – this includes 216 new railway sleepers, 4 lengths of 112 metre long of track and 1200 tonnes of new ballast.


To allow these works to take place a full road closure between the Norton and Whittington roundabouts in Worcester will be in place from 8pm Thursday 24 May to 6am Friday 1 June. The railway line will also be closed from Saturday 26 May to Thursday 31 May. For up to date information details of bus services to support the rail closures, visit the GWR website (link opens in a new window)

As this will be a complex and extremely busy live construction site, for safety reasons we are not able to allow members of the public to visit and view any of the works taking place. However we will aim to provide a time-lapse video of the bridge being manoeuvred into place will be available on this webpage soon after it happens.

4 May 2018

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.

SLR Bridge


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

Diversion map

A copy of the diversion route map can be downloaded here

A copy of the diversion route map for high sided vehicles above 15'9 feet can be downloaded here

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

What next

  • 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

Fascinating facts

  • 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