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The Reconstruction of Whitchurch Bridge
(revised 10th May 2013)
Whitchurch Bridge is coming to the end of its useful life and major reconstruction will take place in 2013-14, by which time the existing Bridge will be 111 years old.
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, with the existing piles, pier caps and latticework side girders retained 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 Birse Civils Ltd., with contract supervision (on behalf of the Company) 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.
The works, being a major reconstruction of the Bridge, will have to comply with the current mandatory European Structural Design Codes (Eurocodes). The total cost of the reconstruction Project is estimated at £4.3 million including VAT: some of this has already been spent.
Although 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.
The timetable for the reconstruction works, which may change, is as follows:
|Early July 2013||Contractor erects road signage giving advance warning of Bridge closure over a wide area (as detailed on the Drawings below).|
|Monday 29th July 2013||Contractor starts to establish compound at the Boathouse Surgery (in accordance with an Agreement with Pangbourne Medical Practice).|
|Monday 29th July 2013||Contractor starts to establish compound on Pangbourne River Meadow (in accordance with an Agreement with Pangbourne Parish Council).|
|Monday 29th July 2013||Contractor starts construction of temporary footbridge.|
|Thursday 3rd October 2013||Temporary footbridge opens, and main Bridge closes.|
|Monday 14th April 2014||Reconstructed main Bridge opens, and temporary footbridge closes.|
|By 31st May 2014||All works completed, contractor compounds removed, ground reinstated and reseeded. All reinstatement works will be managed until established to the satisfaction of the landowner.|
The following Drawings and Reports give detailed information about various aspects of the reconstruction work:
Construction Management Plan (as submitted with the Planning Applications)
As the reconstruction work approaches the Company will be publishing a series of news bulletins. These will also be submitted for inclusion in the local Parish magazines.
News Bulletins published so far are:
News Bulletin 5 June 2013
News Bulletin 4 January 2013
News Bulletin 3 August 2012
News Bulletin 2 May 2012
News Bulletin 1 March 2012
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.
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.
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