Merrywalks Bridge Bulletin No. 27. An Update from Nigel Edgeworth
Three quarters of the bridge base slab and side walls are complete.
Work has now started to complete the remaining section of base slab and side walls.
It was not possible to complete the base and side walls in one go as space was needed to carryout temporary works on the Slad Brook outfall.
Steel fixing for the Slad Brook outfall is almost complete and a concrete pour was completed on 5th November.
Work is now concentrated on the pilasters. These will form the edge of the structure, extending above the deck with railings in between.
Unfortunately, it now looks as though the completion by the end of November will not happen. Below is a press release issued regarding this.
Works on the Merrywalks Bridge in Stroud will now be completed in January.
Gloucestershire County Council is building the new £1.8million A46 Merrywalks Bridge as part of the Cotswold Canals Restoration Project.
The bridge was originally scheduled to open later this month, but problems beyond council control have meant the project has been delayed.
The council is working with the contractor, Carillion Civil Engineering to ensure every effort is made to complete the works as quickly as possible.
The Carillion team have already worked several weekends to try to keep on track and will continue to do so in the future.
The council is confident that the diversion currently in place will continue to minimise delays with traffic flowing well since the work started in July.
Issues causing the delay include:
- Heavy rain causing high flows in Slad Brook resulting in flooding of the site delaying preparation of bridge base
- Obstructions encountered during installation of both concrete bored and sheet piling
- Unexpected soft ground encountered at the bridge base requiring further excavation and filling
- Problems with having to work around BT cables that were at a lower level than expected
- Difficult temporary works associated with Slad Brook culvert requiring the bridge base being constructed in two sections
Nigel Edgeworth, project manager, said: “It is disappointing that the road will not now be opened by Christmas, but unfortunately we couldn’t have foreseen the issues we’ve had with the construction site. However, the diversion using Wallbridge has worked so well.”
Cllr. Stan Waddington, cabinet member for Environment & Transport, said: “I’d like to thank people for their patience and advise drivers to continue using diversions where possible. The diversion has worked so well, we are confident it won’t impact on Christmas trade in the town. Stroud is open for business and the county council will continue to support businesses throughout this period.”
Carole Garfield, chair of Stroud Chamber of Commerce said: "Stroud Chamber has worked closely with Highways Dept to make sure that visitors find it as easy as possible to get into Stroud and we are pleased that the access roads will be smooth over the Christmas period. Although we are aware of the new timetable we hope there will be no disruption and everyone will continue to shop in Stroud.”
Cllr. Keith Pearson, Stroud District Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration said: "Of course this is disappointing, but it's not surprising with a large project such as this. The diversion is working well and we would prefer things to be got right rather than rushed. Carrillion are maintaining summer working hours of 7.30am to 6pm for the foreseeable future".
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