Council updates public on Halfpenny Bridge repair
By David Wood | 21st July 2023
Gloucestershire County Council has updated members of the public on the progress of the Halfpenny Bridge repair.
At a public meeting yesterday (Thursday), the council gave residents and businesses in Lechlade-on-Thames an update on the work to repair Halfpenny Bridge.
A vehicle collided with the historic bridge in the early hours of Tuesday 20 June, causing significant damage to the wall of the bridge.
A road closure has been put in place on the A361 but remains open to pedestrians and cyclists.
Although preparations are well underway for the repair, work cannot start on the bridge until Historic England and the Secretary of State have approved the proposed works. This includes the design, materials and method of working.
This is because the bridge is a listed structure and Scheduled Ancient Monument.
The council expects to submit its plan for repair to Historic England and the Secretary of State within the next month.
Once the plan for repair is approved by the relevant authorities, it is expected that the work would take around eight weeks to complete.
Specialist divers have been contracted to retrieve the stone that has fallen into the river, as one of the conditions of the rebuild is that as much original stone must be used as possible.
Scaffolding contractors have also been employed to design and construct scaffolding to allow work to be undertaken safely.
Engagement with Historic England and the Secretary of State has already started and the council is working with them so repairs can be made as quickly as possible.
The council is also in contact with the Environment Agency, Lechlade-on-Thames Town Council and local community groups throughout the work. This is in addition to Swindon Borough Council who are involved in the diversion route for road closures south of the bridge.
The council understands that the closure of Halfpenny Bridge coincides with the closure of Hannington Wick Lane. This road is currently closed after a number of drainage culverts under the road were found to be collapsing. The road will remain closed to keep everyone safe while the council undergoes a design and repair of the culverts.
The council will provide updates on both the Halfpenny Bridge and Hannington Wick Lane work as soon as possible.
Cllr Dom Morris, cabinet member responsible for highways at Gloucestershire County Council and local member for Fairford and Lechlade-on-Thames, said: "I understand the inconvenience of the closure to residents and businesses caused by a vehicle hitting the bridge, and I thank them for their patience.
"Thank you to those residents and businesses who attended the public meeting and for your interest in the scheme.
"I am doing everything I can to push forward the repair work as quickly as possible and will provide updates throughout the process."
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