National Highways has announced a major programme of work on a landmark West Yorkshire viaduct will begin after the Easter Bank Holiday.
It is carrying out waterproofing and resurfacing on the Wentbridge Viaduct, a Grade II listed bridge which carries the A1 over the River Went. The waterproofing under the road surface layer helps to protect the structure from corrosion and reduces the need for repairs in the future. Road marking and studs will also be replaced.
Following the completion of the viaduct work, engineers will start to replace the central pier at the nearby Wentedge Road Bridge along with the parapets, joints, and surfacing. The carriageway will be temporarily re-aligned before the start of the main works to enable the replacement of the pier while keeping two open lanes of traffic in both directions.
The Wentbridge viaduct work is expected to complete in Autumn 2023, with the Wentedge Road Bridge scheme earmarked for completion in early 2024.
Preparations for the improvements began in early February. National Highways has been installing narrow lanes and upgrading the crossover points between Barnsdale Bar and Ferrybridge. This is to prepare for the contraflow which will be in place during the main works, and enable the work to be carried out as safely as possible.
From Tuesday 11 April, there will be a series of closures in place to set up the traffic management for the contraflow:
- 11-14 April: The A1 northbound will be closed each night between Barnsdale Bar and Ferrybridge.
- 11-14 April: A1 southbound Lane 2 overnight closure between Ferrybridge and Barnsdale Bar.
- 12-16 April: Lane 2 northbound daytime closure
- 15-16 April: A1 southbound will be closed between Ferrybridge and Barnsdale Bar on both nights.
- 16 April: Lane: 2 southbound daytime closure
All overnight closures will run between 8pm and 6am the following day.
From Monday 17 April, the southbound carriageway will be fully closed as the first phase of the works begins.
Traffic travelling in both directions will be in contraflow on the northbound carriageway.
Future phases will require traffic to run on the southbound carriageway, and then finally in single lanes in both directions. Details of these phases will be communicated as the scheme progresses.
National Highways says that to keep any disruption to a minimum, both structures are being improved using the same traffic management layout, which will include the installation of a contraflow, narrow lanes, and a temporary barrier to keep the workforce safe. Switches between the phases will require a number of overnight full closures to alter the traffic management. A fully signed diversion will be in place.
National Highways Project Manager John Stebbing said: “These are essential works which will improve journeys on this important route and minimise disruption by reducing the number of works on this section of the A1 in the future.
“However, we do unfortunately expect some disruption while this is carried out. We apologise in advance to drivers and residents close to the work for disruption, and we thank them in advance for their patience.
“We also strongly advise people planning to travel in this area to plan their journeys in advance and allow more time to reach their destination.
“Please be assured that we are working hard to keep traffic on our motorway network as much as possible; however, in instances when traffic needs to be diverted on to local roads, we are asking drivers to follow the fully signposted diversions.”
(Picture – National Highways)