Wednesday, 22 August 2007

More Traffic Chaos in the planning.

If you think that the chaos of Market Street reconstruction, the building of replacement toilets, the resurfacing of Teme Street, the repairs to the sewers, the repairs to the storm drains and the laying of the power cable for the Biomass Power Station is the end of traffic problems for Tenbury, think again.

Some of these are necessary and others are not!

Extract from Worcester County Councils bridge report.

A4112 Teme Bridge, Tenbury
Teme Bridge carries the A4112 over the River Teme in Tenbury Wells, linking the town itself to the A456, which provides the strategic route to Worcester and Kidderminster to the East, and Ludlow and Leominster via the A49 to the West. The alternatives routes in Tenbury from this directions involve narrow and hilly roads that are particularly unsuitable for the Heavy Goods Vehicles bringing goods to the town centre businesses.

The original bridge dates back to the Fourteenth Century, although the southern three arches were re-built in the Eighteenth Century. In 1815 the northern three spans were widened to a design by Thomas Telford, and further widening was undertaken in 1868. In 1908 reinforced concrete extensions were constructed on both elevations of the bridge to a design by L.G. Mouchel and Partners.

The structure therefore comprises of six sandstone arches, with spans varying between 7.2 metres and 8.4 metres, with widening having been undertaken using reinforced concrete beam and slab construction. In 1952 the soffit of the concrete extensions were treated with sprayed concrete and most recently in 1995 additional transverse beams were installed to strengthen the southern three spans. This last piece of work followed an assessment that identified the need for a weight restriction if strengthening work was not carried out.

Such a restriction would have a significant impact upon local businesses within Tenbury. A Principal Inspection (PI) in October 2005 identified further problems with the bridge, notably erosion of masonry, cracking and displacements of stonework, water penetration of the reinforced concrete extensions, and spalling of the concrete.

Additionally, the south-east wingwall is showing signs of movement, probably due to settlement of the fill behind the abutment. Given the above it is likely that major repairs will be required to Teme Bridge, and these will form a high priority due to the need to maintain a reasonable level of access to Tenbury itself. Further site investigations are underway to establish the interface between the original arch structure and the concrete extension and to allow a full assessment of the bridge to be completed.

Given the historic nature of this structure, there will be extensive consultation with English Heritage, whilst the timing of any works will need to be the subject of extensive local consultation to minimise the disruption that will inevitably occur locally.

The proposed programme and associated costs for Teme Bridge is as follows:
Year Action Cost
2006/07 Investigation and reassessment of concrete extensions £15,000
2007/08 Detailed mapping of defects to support ancient monument consent £30,000
2007/08 Feasibility and English Heritage liason £15,000
2007/08 Design of strengthening £30,000
2008/09 Masonry repairs (provisional) £450,000
2008/09 Strengthening of concrete extensions (provisional) £600,000
Total £1,140,000

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