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Kepax Bridge scheme takes a huge step forward

Artistic impression of what Kepax Bridge will look like Published Thursday, 22nd September 2022

Kepax Bridge is now able to progress, following approval by the Worcestershire County Council Cabinet earlier today (22 September).

The Cabinet agreed to authorise the award of the main construction contract and requested the Council amend the capital budget to enable works to commence on the construction of the new bridge later this year.

Building on the success of Sabrina Bridge and Diglis Bridge, Worcestershire County Council and Worcester City Council are working in partnership to provide this new walking and cycling bridge over the River Severn.

The bridge will run from Gheluvelt Park to the east of the river to the Kepax site in St John’s, to the west, providing improved cycle and pedestrian connectivity to the north of Worcester City.

It will be the same width as other shared-use bridges in the city such as Diglis, Hams Way, Broomhall Way and Crookbarrow Way. 

Councillor Marc Bayliss, Cabinet Member for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills said, “It’s great that the Cabinet has taken the decision to award the main construction contract, allowing us to get this important scheme underway.

“Once completed, the bridge will bring a major boost for the health and wellbeing of people who live, study or work in Worcester, encouraging many more to walk and cycle around our beautiful city. Combined with the Diglis and Sabrina bridges, the Kepax Bridge will also create an attractive and appealing figure-of-eight route for enjoying Worcester’s riverside.

“We have heard some debate about the cost of the scheme and it’s important to note that the previously published cost did not include inflation, nor did it include additional works such as improvements to Horsford Road or the ramp down to the Severn Way. Since 2019, there has been significant inflation in the construction industry due to a number of factors, including major increases in fuel, energy, aggregate and steel costs. The sources of funding to meet the full costs are identified and will not have any impact on highway maintenance budgets.”

Previously approved preparatory works have already taken place including environmental surveys, the removal of invasive species and clearance of vegetation on the bridge alignment. 

Further preparatory work will be carried out in Gheluvelt Park from the week commencing Monday 26th September, ahead of the main works starting later this year. 

To allow these works to progress, there will be some minor footpath diversions in place in the park.

More information is available on the County Council website