Worcestershire County Council’s project to replace Eastham Bridge¬†has reached a key milestone, with the piling of foundations now complete.

The piling process is one of the most vital and time-consuming elements of the construction, with secure foundations underpinning the integrity of the entire structure. Foundations at Eastham are now secured into the bedrock, meaning work on the main span of the bridge can begin.

The next major milestone will be the lifting of the first beams into position, which is due to take place in late February.

Contractors are also currently cleaning some of the material that was recovered from the original bridge and this will be re-used as cladding to the new structure. Approximately 10,000 of the 12,500 bricks have been dressed so far and are currently in storage.

Cllr Marcus Hart, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways, visited the site today (23 January) to inspect progress and answer questions from local residents. Cllr Hart said: “I am delighted that we have now moved into the next phase of this important project designed to re-connect the village of Eastham as early as possible. With the vitally important process of piling now complete, work can continue based on these secure and solid foundations.

“Works are currently progressing well despite the winter weather, thanks to the efforts of everybody on site and involved behind the scenes, and the new bridge is on track to be open to road users from Spring 2017.”

Traffic lights on the A443 will remain in place 24 hours a day until further notice to enable works on the northern section and to facilitate the bridge lift. Additional Highways gritting has also been carried out on the roads around Eastham.

For further information, please visit http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20254/infrastructure_and_improvement_schemes/1178/eastham_bridge

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