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A year's repair work on busy A35 bridge set to start in summer

A 40mph precautionary speed limit applies at Holmsley bridge
A 40mph precautionary speed limit applies at Holmsley bridge

WORK to replace a deteriorating bridge on a major route through the New Forest will begin in the summer, Hampshire County Council has confirmed.

The authority is currently in the process of selecting a contractor for the £5.5m scheme at Holmsley bridge near Burley, which carries the A35 over the C10.

A new bridge will be built alongside the existing one, which is no longer fit for purpose, before traffic is transferred over to the new route, including the realignment of about 380 metres of the A35.

Work is expected to begin in summer 2021 with completion by the end of June 2022. The section has already had the speed limit reduced from 60mph to 40, and disruption is expected during several phases of road closures.

The council’s cabinet member for economy, transport and environment, Cllr Rob Humby, said: “We’ve been monitoring this bridge since it became the county council’s responsibility in 2012 to ensure it could continue to be used by all traffic.

“The bridge, which was built in 1908, has now deteriorated to the point that replacement is the only viable option. Last summer the speed limit was reduced, we installed temporary barriers, and added additional steel supports under the bridge.

“The new single-span integral concrete bridge will minimise maintenance costs, while the improvements to the A35 will include enhanced drainage in the area and ensure safer travel on this key route through the New Forest.”

Utility diversions and ecological clearance work have been taking place throughout the autumn and will continue until the end of March next year.

Temporary road and lane closures will be required for some operations and signed diversion routes will be in place.

The road below the bridge, the C10, will be temporarily closed while new piled foundations and other elements of the proposed structure are installed and when the existing structure is demolished.

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