Ringway Jacobs Central Bedfordshire Council Highways team has started a project in Central Bedfordshire where they have been tasked with replacing Hulcote Mill Bridge situated on a cul-de-sac.
Efforts were made to find an overland diversion route to allow the road to be closed whilst works were carried out, but, within reason, none were possible. To allow residents continued access to the road, and at the same time facilitate the works, Ringway Jacobs installed a temporary bridge to divert traffic whilst installing the permanent structure. Once the project is complete, traffic will make use of the new bridge (with improved loading and highways standards) and the temporary structure removed.
There was a lot that needed to be done to make this scheme happen, whilst maintaining access down a narrow road and minimising impact on local residents and businesses. The biggest challenges the team has faced so far is safely maintaining traffic flow whilst working directly alongside and within the carriageway. Also, maintaining access for the adjacent stable yard, who are running a daily business, and reducing or eliminating the effect of the works. The owners have been very accommodating and both Ringway Jacobs and their Supply Chain partner at NC & JC, have maintained excellent relations with them.
Additionally, prior to most of the works, Anglian water had to drill shot a new feed from 40m away from the bridge under the river, to allow for the potable water feed to be removed within the existing bridge.
UKPN also had to divert their service, removing overhead lines and diverting them underground to allow for the crane to operate for optimum safety of the workforce and delivery of their power service. This diversion ran under the carriageway and again, as the traffic is live, had to be carried out sequentially without digging up the whole road at once.
Phil Horton, Managing Director at Ringway Jacobs said,” I am extremely pleased with how the teams have planned and coordinated the bridge demolition and restoration putting safety at the forefront of what we do, ensuring the local public are kept informed and traffic disruption minimised. In addition to the work, we have been able to resurface the local stable yard with their permission, to not only allow for our crane to operate from, but afterwards allows for a spacious car park for the business that before was a muck heap for the horses, leaving the owners very happy! Thank you to everyone involved so far”
This has been a strenuous project so far with hard work by many involved including third party contractors and Ringway Jacobs employees working collaboratively. The earliest possible date for installation of the permanent bridge is 01/03/2022.