Work to install a new bridge has begun as part of a multi-million-pound road project which will support growth and ease congestion in Stafford.
Seventy-two steel beams – each weighing 58 tonnes – will form the base of the bridge over the River Sow, providing the connection between Madford Retail Park and the section towards Doxey Road. A 500-tonne crane lifted six beams a day into position over the last fortnight. The bridge deck can then be built over the beams.
The Stafford Western Access Route project began last summer. The new road will enable millions of pounds worth of new housing and business development to take place. It will also improve traffic flow in the town centre, particularly by the railway station. Construction work has continued safely throughout the pandemic period.
The road is being funded by developers and with £15.5million secured by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership through the Government’s Local Growth Fund. Both the county and borough councils also contributed to the scheme.
Recent work has included:
• Completion of all piling works
• Completion of Martin Drive/Rosehill roundabout surfacing works and cycle route between Kingsway and the Burleyfields housing development.
• Rerouting traffic onto the new section of Doxey Road and surfacing of Doxey Road
• Widening works to the entrance of Madford Retail Park
Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport David Williams said: “The Stafford Western Access Route is a huge project for the county town and for Staffordshire. It is critical for Stafford’s future growth and so to see the progress so far – particularly considering pandemic restrictions – is rewarding to the county council, communities and our businesses.
“The route really is taking shape now and people can see how it will make a difference to the town – enabling both housing and business development and easing congestion in the centre of Stafford and near the railway station.The river bridge construction is a critical phase of the project, connecting the northern section to Doxey Road. We’re pleased we have been able to continue work safely through the pandemic.
“We have ensured communities have been kept informed and involved throughout the project and we are always keen for any feedback from residents and businesses.”
Stafford Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning Frances Beatty said: “It is simply fantastic to see another key milestone reached in this important project that will help unlock many millions of pounds worth of new investment, as well as ease congestion for our county town. Stafford Western Access Route is the essential piece of the jigsaw in our development programme, helping bring more prosperity to the centre of Stafford town. It is integral to the vision of the Station Gateway, to the proposed transformation of the High Street and it builds on the recent superb restoration of the historic Victoria Park.”
LEP chairman Alun Rogers said: “We’re pleased to see such rapid progress at one of our major projects which will deliver growth, attract investment and support job creation for our communities.
“Covid-19 has hit our economy hard, as it has nationally, and so continuation of the Stafford Western Access Route and other projects will be vital for our longer-term recovery. The completed route will complement successful delivery of the Stafford Gateway project and our future HS2 connection. The project demonstrates to people, business, future investors and the Government the successful working across the public and private sectors in Staffordshire.”
Drone footage of the project site can be seen here: https://youtu.be/nee8gstjGQI