Major bridge widening takes shape over coming weeks

An aerial impression of Carrington Bridge as the SLR 4 scheme continues to develop. Published Friday, 9th October 2020

Work to double the width of the Carrington Bridge over the River Severn in Worcester takes a big step forward over the coming weeks.

These bridge widening works are part of the fourth and final phase of Worcestershire County Council’s scheme to fully dual the A4440 Southern Link Road (SLR) from Junction 7 of the M5 to the Powick Roundabout.

The all-important steel frame that will form the bridge span will be constructed in segments onsite and each segment lifted into place by one of the biggest cranes in the UK over the next few weeks.

Councillor Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure, said: “This is a big milestone for one of the most important road schemes in the county. The extension of Carrington Bridge is a key part of the works to dual from the M5 to Powick roundabout and it’s great to see the scheme progress.

“This progress is despite the challenges the scheme has faced over the last 12 months with extensive flooding and the pandemic. I’m really looking forward to seeing this seminal work take shape over the coming weeks.”

The steel being used has been fabricated in Darlington from an innovative type of steel, new to the UK but widely used globally, with improved weather resistance and will be delivered to site on Saturday afternoon (10th October).

As the steel girders are so huge, a police escort will accompany the haulage trucks from J7 of the M5 to the site.

Although the road will remain open, those using this part of the network may experience slow traffic during Saturday afternoon as the haulage trucks deliver their important load.

During the process of moving steel segments into place, a number of crane lifts are required. Whilst these lifts are taking place, safety boats will be in the river and the section of river between Upton and the Diglis lock will be closed to river traffic for safety reasons. Due to the nature of the works, weather will be an important factor as extensive flooding could affect the access to site and the use of the crane.

A huge amount of work on this part of the scheme has already taken place with the two huge concrete bridge piers and two abutments, which the will steel span will sit on, erected earlier this year.

The next step, once the span is in place, will involve over 100 five tonne concrete planks being laid to form the bridge deck where concrete is then poured to form a solid structure.

These works should be completed before the end of the year at which point the bridge will begin to look more like it will once works are complete.

Works to join the bridge to the carriageway that has already been constructed, which includes the widened Powick viaduct, will begin early next year.

The A4440 Southern Link Road is used by over 30,000 people each weekday and is one of the county’s busiest stretches of road.

Once the dualling is complete, journey times to and from the M5 are expected to be considerably improved and be more reliable.

For more information, please visit the dedicated Southern Link Road pages of the County Council website.