VolkerHighways completes £1.5m Stoke Bridge improvement scheme

A bridge in Kent has been restored, with a new waterproof membrane and carriageway surface after two months of work by highways maintenance firm VolkerHighways.

The works on the A228 Stoke Bridge between Lower Stoke and Grain Village were required due to regular surface defects. They were delivered by VolkerHighways and its sister business unit, VolkerLaser, in collaboration with Medway Council.

Throughout the project, VolkerHighways says its traffic management division undertook 24/7 surveillance, control of two-way traffic signals and pedestrian/cyclist access. The team also managed the weekend closure of the bridge whereby traffic was diverted over the level crossing in single file.

To minimise disruption, a service road was constructed underneath the bridge for temporary diversion of traffic and a 24/7 shuttle bus was provided for pedestrians as the bridge is the only route for pedestrians/cyclists to get from one town to another. Free recovery was also provided to ensure traffic remained free flowing throughout the duration of the project.

The works have involved diverting service ducts, stripping off the existing surface to concrete bridge deck, including fine milling and deck preparation, prior to the installation of a new waterproof membrane and bond coat for the new surface layers.

The team has installed new sub-surface drainage, new kerb drains, ducts and chambers. Works have also involved resurfacing the carriageway and footway, through its in-house surfacing division.

Due to the bridge running over rail tracks and an old, decommissioned level crossing, VolkerHighways and Medway Council worked closely with Network Rail throughout the scheme to stop and hold traffic when a freight train was crossing. They also collaborated to re-open the level crossing during the road closure, to install a new surface course and bridge joints. In addition, the team reinstalled fencing and gates alongside the railway line, keeping members of the public and commuters safe.

During the project, VolkerHighways had to deal with numerous site constraints, including limited road width, high HGV movements, providing supplies, and had limited options for increasing the depth of surfacing on the bridge. Spanning a freight rail line, the bridge is an emergency access route and is the only pedestrian/cycle route. In addition, with Great Crested Newts known in the area, minimising the impact on the environment was a priority.

Jerry Pert, Operations Director for VolkerHighways, said: “This was a well planned and executed scheme, involving the expertise and collaboration across VolkerWessels UK and supply chain partners. The project was completed on time and with minimal disruption to residents, businesses and commuters.”

Cllr Simon Curry, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Highways, said: “I am pleased that the refurbishment works to Stoke Bridge have been completed – delivering work like this is an important part of keeping Medway moving. Thanks to VolkerHighways for completing these works, and I would also like to say a big thank you to the Medway Council officers who oversaw the project and helped ensure it came in on time and within budget.”

(Picture – VolkerHighways)

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