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Bridge refurbishments to start this month

The Rochester Bridges. Photo: © Clem Rutter.
The Rochester Bridges. Photo: © Clem Rutter.

Three of Rochester’s bridges are set to benefit from a multi-million pound makeover with the start of a major refurbishment programme delivered at no cost to the public.

Work on the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project will begin on 22nd April and is expected to continue until Autumn 2020.

The extensive refurbishment project will see the Old Bridge, New Bridge and Service Bridge, as well as the areas of Rochester and Strood Esplanades owned by the Rochester Bridge Trust, given a complete overhaul.

Bridge Clerk Sue Threader explained: “The Trust regularly carries out routine maintenance work, keeping the bridges clean and making minor repairs. This project is an opportunity to go beyond the day-to-day, tackling larger items before they become problems and generally improving the condition of the bridges for years to come.

“FM Conway was selected for this project following a rigorous competitive tendering process. The Trust was impressed by the commitment of the company to delivering high quality work while arranging the works to minimise disruption as far as possible.”

Work will start with a site compound established on the Strood Esplanade. The refurbishment will be carried out in phases, tackling the New Bridge works first, then the Service Bridge, and completing those works before renovation begins on the Old Bridge. It ends with repair and complete refurbishment of the section of Rochester Esplanade from the bridges to the Castle Gate. Work beneath the bridge decks will be carried out throughout the programme.

The £8.5 million contract has been let by the Rochester Bridge Trust to FM Conway and project management will be by the Bridge Engineer to the Trust, Arcadis (UK) Ltd.

Lane closures

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorists are advised there will be a series of overnight, temporary, single lane closures to the New Bridge between Rochester and Strood.

On Monday 22nd April, night-time preparatory work will commence. This will run for two nights, from 8pm to 5am, and will involve the closure of the footway and cycleway, as well as one lane of the New Bridge.

These closures will be repeated for seven more nights, from Thursday 25th April, until Wednesday 1st May, again from 8pm until 5am. The works have been designed to minimise disruption to road users. Traffic will still be able to cross the New Bridge, while pedestrians will be asked to use the footway of the Old Bridge for their safety.

To find out more about the Rochester Bridges Refurbishment Project visit www.rbt.org.uk/refurbishment.