The viaduct is in need of maintenance work on: pier (support) strengthening, bearing and hinge replacement, drainage improvements, water proofing, parapet replacement, and concrete repairs.
After considering a range of options, councillors decided to begin the work in June/July this year for a maximum duration of one year, but with an aim to try to secure additional funding to accelerate the work programme and reduce the timescale. Both the essential maintenance of the viaduct structure and the improvements to widen the shared footpath for cyclists and pedestrians will be combined, which means that the total maximum time required on site would be one year rather than two.
Planning and transport lead member Cllr Colin Hunt said: “The coming years will see significant development across the area, so it’s vital that our major road network is able to cope with this increase in growth.
“We now have the opportunity to bring the viaduct up to standard and improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists at the same time, thanks to the financial support of the Challenge Fund and Cycling Ambition Fund. The schemes are funded from the Department for Transport and are time limited, so it is important that we have agreed a way forward today. The benefits of carrying out the work in this way are that it is achievable within the available funding, and it will reduce the impact on communities and commuters in the long run by completing the work as quickly as possible.”
Head of Streetcare and transport Mark King added: “The extent of the work requires the southern viaduct to be completely closed to all traffic for the duration of the project. This is because the removal of the worn out parts of the structure will mean it is too weak to safely carry any traffic until the maintenance is complete. During the closure, all traffic will be diverted on to the northern viaduct as other options would require a significant one to two mile diversion on to narrow roads.
“We appreciate that this is one of the busiest sections of the A4174 and understand that this will cause significant delays and inconvenience and we apologise in advance. We will be doing everything we can to keep the public regularly informed about the viaduct work and how to plan their journeys accordingly. We are also looking at the scheduling of current and future transport schemes, utility work and other roadworks to ensure disruption to road users and communities is kept to a minimum, wherever possible.”
For more information about the work schedule visit www.southglos.gov.uk/bhviaduct
By combining the work of the two projects into one scheme the cost of completing all of the work is around £5.9M. The work will be funded under two Department for Transport awards; the Challenge Fund and the Cycle Ambition Fund.
Although it is recognised that the impact of the work will be significant, combining these projects will create less disruption to the travelling public. It will also reduce social impacts of; noise from the works, congestion in communities from diverting traffic and pollution from diverting traffic reducing air quality. It should also result in less impact on the local economy by reducing the duration of traffic disruption and congestion caused.
View a video of the current state of the viaduct here https://vimeo.com/184502794
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