A major engineering project to carry out structural repairs and strengthen the Bromley Heath Viaduct on the A4174 ring road is nearing completion. A shared use cycle and pedestrian path is also being created as part of the scheme.
Work on the 1960s structure started in April last year and has largely remained on schedule throughout the duration of this complex project, although there have been some unforeseen issues which we have had to overcome along the way.
We’re now at the stage where the nature of the work which is left to do must all be carried out consecutively and many of the tasks, such as concreting one of the parapets and plinths, waterproofing and resurfacing the new deck are all weather dependent.
The original end date of March for the contraflow to be lifted on the A4174 ring road will need to be extended while work is completed and we would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience this will cause. We are continuing to work seven days a week to complete the remaining work as quickly as possible so that the contraflow can be removed by the end of April.
The full extent of the structural repairs and strengthening work which has been carried out on the Bromley Heath Viaduct to date is available online www.southglos.gov.uk/bhviaduct
Cllr Colin Hunt, Cabinet Member responsible for planning and transport, said: “First of all, I want to apologise up front for any inconvenience caused to local residents and road users, but we do need to extend the duration of the contraflow while the remaining jobs are completed on site. We have done all that we can to carry out these essential works as quickly as we can and to help minimise the impact to people’s journeys. This has included working longer days, at weekends and at night where possible and our main focus now is to get the contraflow removed from the A4174 ring road by the end of April.
“With a project of this scale we have run into some unforeseen difficulties along the way, such as it taking longer to construct the vast scaffolding structure which is required for people to work safely under the viaduct. And the additional time needed to remove some of the concrete from the steel girder which supports the structure. However, on the whole, the progress that has been made to date cannot be under estimated and I would like to thank local residents and road users for their continued patience as we continue with these vital improvements to the viaduct.
“We have also written to local schools asking children to take part in a time capsule ceremony we plan to hold in the spring. The time capsule items will provide a snapshot of the area in 2018, featuring items such as a favourite song from this year, a school project from this time, a school poem or a newspaper article featuring a particular school’s success.”
• Preparatory work started in April 2017, the contraflow went live in July 2017
• More than a million litres of water were used for the hydro-demolition process which involved removing concrete from the old structure using high pressure water jets
• Weekend work has been carried out every weekend since July 2017
• 47,500 metres of scaffold tube with 15,000 fittings (equivalent to 15,000 bags of sugar) were used to make the scaffolding structure which allows people to work below the ring road safely
• The scaffolding houses 9,000 metres of scaffold board which laid end to end would take you from Bromley Heath to College Green in central Bristol
• The scaffolding has been designed to support a total load of 400 tonnes
• Six to eight people worked on constructing the scaffolding seven days a week from the end of August to December last year
• The structure also features a section of bridging beams to allow the scaffolding to span 20 metres across the River Frome. It has been designed to resist a water flow of three metres per second, should flooding occur
• Since the project began, our road safety team has worked with nine local schools to encourage other ways of getting to school which has seen a 51 per cent increase in the number of pupils who are now actively travelling to school. This includes walking, park and stride, scooter, bus etc. Previously, the average active travel rate was 57 per cent. Since the project, the active travel rate has increased to 81 per cent.
Some of the work left to do:
• Installation and surfacing of the decking for the cycle and pedestrian pathway. Waterproofing the deck needs to be done in dry weather
• Concreting the north parapet and plinth needs temps to be above four degrees
• Waterproofing of parapet plinths, kerb laying and other surfacing work – needs relatively dry weather and temps above four degrees
• White lining – relatively dry weather and above four degrees
• Installation of lighting columns.
There will be other work which needs to be completed which does not require the contraflow to be in place which remains on schedule and will be completed within the overall project timescale which takes us up to June. We will continue to provide updates on progress via our dedicated Facebook page www.facebook.com/bhviaduct and we will continue to engage with the community as the project progresses.