A bridge in Durham City, that has been closed for critical works, will reopen to all traffic and pedestrians in October.
New Elvet Bridge was fully closed in July last year to allow essential repairs to be carried out to make the bridge structurally sound.
Since that time, major progress has been made and the central span of the bridge has now been lowered back into position, allowing the project to move into the final phases. This is a significant milestone in the project and a great engineering achievement. As the works programme has progressed, it has become apparent that some additional concrete repairs are required, and it is now expected the bridge will reopen at the end of October.
Durham County Council continues to work closely with the contractor, Balfour Beatty, to monitor the impact that these works will have on the overall programme and is looking at other areas to potentially claim back project time.
So far, works to the bridge have seen the lifting and supporting of the central section of the bridge whilst work is undertaken on the deck joints, alongside the extensive concrete repairs. The bridge deck is also being waterproofed and resurfaced to extend the life of the bridge.
Furthermore, improved drainage systems and protective coatings to the concrete are being renewed, giving waterproof protection to the structure.
The major repairs are critical to the safety of the bridge, which carries an average of 17,000 vehicles a day each year. They also avoid more extensive and prolonged repairs being required in the near future.
Alan Patrickson, Durham County Council’s corporate director for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: “This is a complex civil engineering project and it is really important for the city as it is a vital link.
“Our contractors have been working through the coronavirus pandemic and prolonged winter weather. Despite these challenges, we can assure everyone that excellent progress is being made. We are working closely with our contractor to reopen the bridge as soon as possible.
“We would like to thank drivers as well as nearby residents and businesses for their continued patience during these essential works. We do understand that the closure of New Elvet Bridge has caused disruption but it is important that these projects are completed to the highest standards.”
Letters have been sent to all businesses and residents to update them on the project.
There are still some areas of concrete that require replacement, which will result in some disturbance as the defective concrete is removed, similar to that which has already been ongoing. This will be kept to a minimum, with these works expected to be complete by July.
Meanwhile, diversion routes will remain in place until the bridge reopens. Suggested diversions, as well as the most up-to-date progress on the works programme, can be found on the council’s website www.durham.gov.uk/newelvet.