On this page: 

Works Programme

Photographs and Videos

Drawings and Reports

The Reconstruction of Whitchurch Bridge - Background Notes

Planning Permission

FAQ's on Bridge Reconstruction


Works Programme (updated 17th September 2014)

The main works to be completed before the Bridge re-opens to road traffic are:

  • Install pavement and kerbs

  • Install new parapet lights

  • Rreinstate railings (Pangbourne end) and wall (Whitchurch end) acroos the access points to the footbridge.

The main sub-contractors are:

Red7Marine of Colchester - marine services

Matthews of Crawley - demolition works

Foundation Piling Ltd of Chesham - pile drilling

Mabey Bridge of Chepstow - fabrication and erection of new steelwork

Coastground Ltd of Great Yarmouth - refurbishment and repainting of original side girders, pier capitals and columns 

Carney Construction of Reading -  reinforced concrete (at the abutments and on the Bridge deck)

Oxford Archaeology of Oxford - archaeological recording and investigation

SJ Stephens Associates of Marlborough - ecological and environmental monitoring


Photographs( updated 9th July) 2014)

  • a time-lapse photographic record of the works for the last month is here. All pictures, including those now offline, will be permanently stored for record purposes. Some dates are missng because of system faults.

  • photographs of the works are here

Nick Brazil's Videos (updated 12th September 2014)

Stage 1 - 1 August to 3 October 2013

Stage 2 - October 2013

Stage 3 - November and early December 2013

Stage 4 - Lifting off side girders December 2013

Stage 5 - Floods 2014

Stage 6 - Side girders leave by road transport March 2014

Stage 7 - Lifting off last side girders April 2014

Stage 8 - Piling operations at southern abutment April 2014

Stage 9 - Piling operations May 2014

Stage 10 - Night Working 19th and 20th May

Stage 11 - Pile concrete pouring at the southern abutment 21st May

Stage 12 - Piling in mid river 22nd May

Stage 13 - Installing the piers 10th -16th June

Stage 14 - Delivery of girders 10th -11th June

Stage 15 - Lifting and placement of long northern span girders 13th - 15th June

Stage 16 - Lifting and placement of mid section girders 16th June

Stage 17 - River banks are joined once more 23rd June

Stage 18 - Return of the lattice girders 26th June

Stage 19 - First two lattice girders back in place 2nd - 3rd July

Stage 20 - Last six lattice girders back in place 7th - 9th July

Stage 21 - Concreting the deck 17th July

A Bridge is reborn - a taster for the 40 minute documentray available soon


Drawings and Reports  (updated 2nd September 2013 - footbridge details and 142 Bus service)

The following documents give detailed information about various aspects of the reconstruction work:  all are subject to amendment. 

Bridge Reconstruction

Existing General Arrangement of the Bridge

Proposed General Arrangement of the Bridge

Details of Temporary Footbridge (updated 2nd September 2013)

Construction Sequence (the actual construction sequence to be used by Balfour Beatty may vary in detail)

Construction Management Plan (as submitted with the Planning Applications. The actual construction method to be used by Balfour Beatty will differ from this:  the most significant difference is that the refurbishment of the side girders will be carried out off-site and not on the river meadow).

Flood Risk Assessment

Traffic Management

Traffic Survey

Local Traffic Diversion Signs

Strategic Traffic Diversion Signs

Parking Restrictions - Whitchurch-on-Thames and Goring

Parking Restrictions - Streatley

Revised 142 Bus Service Timetable (final version)

Ongoing Traffic Survey - we are co-operating with a University of the West of England research project looking at how and why people travel and the effect that disruption has on their daily lives - more details at www.disruptionproject.net (you may get a false virus warning message if you use AVG). Bridge users may participate in their online survey.


The Reconstruction of Whitchurch Bridge - Background Notes (updated 18th March 2014)
Whitchurch Bridge, built in 1902, has come to the end of its useful life and is currently being reconstructed. The Company intends to retain the existing appearance of the Bridge.  The reconstruction will involve the installation of new piers (ie the vertical columns secured in the river bed) supporting new, load-bearing longitudinal girders under the roadway.  The existing piers will remain in place but become non-loadbearing, and the existing pier capitals and latticework side girders will be taken away for refurbishment and then put back as key visual elements.  The width of the Bridge will not be increased, and the headroom and width of the four river channels will not be reduced.

Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) is managing the reconstruction project on behalf of the Company.  Architectural design was undertaken by Jacobs, with detailed engineering design and tender documentation delivered by Atkins UK.  The main contractor is Balfour Beatty - the separate identity of Birse Civils Ltd, the division of the Balfour Beatty group to which the contract was awarded, is being phased out. Contract supervision on behalf of the Company is by Atkins UK.

The reconstruction contract is being managed within the framework of the "NEC Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC), 3rd edition (June 2005),  Option C - Target Contract with Activity Schedule".  Guidance Notes on the NEC3 model are available here

In accordance with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 a CDM Co-ordinator has been appointed who is advising the Company (as Employer) on all aspects of its responsibilities for health and safety risk management matters. 

When the contract was awarded in May 2013 the total cost of the reconstruction Project was estimated at 4.4 million including VAT: this includes design and other costs incurred before contract award, and design, project managent and contract supervison costs during the contract. Costs have increased significantly since January 2014 because of the delay to the Project caused mainly by the exceptional adverse river conditions January - March 2014 and are now estimated at 5.6 million incuiding VAT. 

The works, being a major reconstruction of the Bridge, will have to comply with the current mandatory European Structural Design Codes (Eurocodes).  Although this means that the reconstructed Bridge will be strong enough for 44 tonnes vehicles, the Company is at one with local residents in wishing to retain a 7.5 tonne weight restriction on the Bridge after it has been reconstructed, and has agreed with OCC (as Highways authority) that an enforceable 7.5 tonnes mgw weight limit can be retained on the Bridge following its reconstruction. 


Planning Permissions (revised 26th April 2013)

Planning Permission for the reconstruction of Whitchurch Bridge was resolved to be granted by South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) on 16th November 2011, and by West Berkshire Council (WBC) on 7th December 2011. 

A S106 Planning Agreement has been completed with Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) formalising the Company's undertaking to pay for necessary changes to the route 142 bus service which passes over the Bridge.  SODC issued its Decision Notices on 31st May 2012. 

A S106 Planning Agreement has been completed with West Berkshire Council (WBC) formalising the Company's undertaking to pay for necessary adjustments to the A329/B4009 traffic lights in Streatley to help deal with the increased traffic flows from diverted traffic, and also for other necessary measures such as local parking restrictions.  West Berkshire Council issued its Decision Notices on 7th March 2012.

Planning Conditions - Traffic Survey

The Company carried out a traffic survey in March 2013 to fulfil a Planning condition from WBC - the survey Report is here.

Planning Applications

Details of the Planning Application process which led up to the granting of Planning Permission are as follows:

1.    Because of its location, the reconstruction of Whitchurch Bridge involves two Planning authorities, South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) and West Berkshire Council (WBC).  SODC acts as "lead" Planning Authority.  The Planning authorities will monitor the reconstruction work to ensure compliance with Planning requirements and conditions.

 2.    The Company appointed the Temple Group to manage its inputs to the Planning Application process, and Planning Applications were submitted to SODC and WBC on 3rd May 2011 as follows:

  • Planning and Listed Building Applications to SODC and WBC for the main works of reconstruction and alterations to the Bridge,

  • Planning Applications to SODC and WBC for the temporary footbridge to provide for continued access across the river during the reconstruction,

  • a Planning Application to WBC, copied for information to SODC, for the temporary construction compound on Pangbourne River Meadow,

  • written notification to SODC, copied to WBC for information, of proposed works to trees within the Whitchurch Conservation Area.

3.    The Planning Applications to SODC were registered on 18th May 2011 and  are available to view on their website under Planning References P11/E0745/LB and P11/E0743

4.    The Planning Applications to WBC were registered on 26th May 2011 and are available to view on their website under Planning References 11/00984/LBC and 11/00985/FUL.




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