I thought that local residents and businesses in the Oundle area would be interested to hear that on the issue of the Oundle North Bridge and the repairs required to it, I have received a significant update in relation to the progress of this project.
Having worked hard to secure the funding from the Government for these works to take place, I have been advised by Northamptonshire County Council that the works are finally set to commence on the 11th November 2019. The update I have received from NCC specifically states:
“Northamptonshire Highways have been working with associated parties including East Northamptonshire Planning Authority, the Environment Agency and Historic England, to secure consent to start works on the repair of Oundle Bridge North. The bridge was shut to heavy goods vehicles because of concerns about a number of its arches. The bridge currently has a 3 tonne weight restriction installed to prevent further deterioration to the condition of this historic Grade II listed structure.
The design approval, method of repair working and consents have taken time to agree as the structure is listed and a historic monument.
The works will commence Monday 11th November 2019, for a period of 30 weeks to repair and strengthen the bridge.
The works will consist of
- Vegetation clearance
- Strengthening of arches – our team will be working below the bridge
- Removal of weight restriction over the bridge and change of advance signage
- Resurfacing (from the joint at the roundabout to close to the zebra crossing)
- Implementation of restriction on South Bridge
Northamptonshire Highways are keeping traffic management to a minimum to mitigate disruption to road users, whilst allowing the team to complete their work efficiently. The southern footway will be closed at all times to allow us to carry out our work safely. Most of the works are being undertaken below the bridge and will not affect road users.
Pedestrian access will be maintained on the other side of the bridge.
To allow us to clear vegetation safely weekend daytime closures will be required in the first few weeks of the scheme. These have not yet been programmed and we will provide closure time and date information as soon as we are able to.
Towards the end of the 30 week programme some full 24 hour closures will be required. This is to allow us to remove the width restriction and to resurface the carriageway. We will provide full details of these closures nearer the time.
We understand there have been concerns about safety on the bridge during periods of ice and snow. We can confirm we have a smaller vehicle which we will use to grit when necessary.”
This is obviously very welcome progress on this key priority issue for residents and Oundle businesses and I will be pressing NCC hard to complete the works as quickly as possible. I would also like to pay tribute to the really hard work of local councillors Wendy Brackenbury and Annabel de Capell Brooke who have both campaigned forcefully for the works to be completed at the earliest possible date.