Dorset bridge replacement work could cause five months of traffic disruption
By This is Dorset | Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 08:45
Work to replace an old Dorset footbridge weakened by impact damage is due to start in the New Year.
The A35 will be reduced to one lane between the Stony Lane and the Somerford roundabouts in both directions during working times
Dorset County Council says it will be more cost-effective to replace the 1960s-built Burton Road footbridge, over the A35 Christchurch bypass, than continue to maintain it.
The council's contractor Raymond Brown will begin work in mid-January, and it is expected to be completed by June.
A public meeting will be held at Burton Primary School from 6pm until 8pm next Tuesday, December 20, where residents and businesses will be able to hear from the scheme engineers and discuss any concerns.
Peter Finney, county council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "The Burton Road footbridge is a vital amenity for local people to cross the A35 and this is an opportunity to replace the old, damaged bridge with a new one that can be safely used by all.
“The A35 is a key route for local people, businesses and commuters and we appreciate that reducing the carriageway width will cause some delays at times.
"By working outside peak times we hope to keep disruption to a minimum, although doing so will extend the construction period.
“It’s important that local residents, businesses and councillors have the opportunity to raise any concerns with officers at this meeting and we would welcome everyone who wishes to attend.”
In order to safely carry out the work, the A35 will be reduced to one lane between the Stony Lane and the Somerford roundabouts in both directions during working times.
To minimise traffic delays, the lane restrictions will only be in place between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday and on Saturday mornings.
These restricted working hours mean the scheme will take longer than would otherwise be possible. Working at night would not be possible because of the noise disturbance it would cause for nearby residents.
The A35 will be closed completely between the Stony Lane and the Somerford roundabouts when the new bridge and ramps are being lifted into position and the old bridge removed.
This will be done over six nights, with dates yet to be confirmed. The diversion route will be via the B3059 Purewell Cross Road and Somerford Road.
Pedestrian access via the existing bridge will be maintained during the works, except when the new bridge is being installed and the old one removed.