Start date for £5.5m A35 Holmsley Bridge replacement
A £5.5m project to replace the worn-out Holmsley Bridge on the A35 will start in earnest in August, Hampshire County Council has announced.
Ringwood firm Knights Brown has won the contract for the main project, near Burley, which will follow preliminary work conducted later this month.
That includes the installation of an acoustic fence at the boundary between the A35 and private property from 22nd to 26th March, when one lane of the A35 will be closed with temporary traffic lights in place.
Trial holes will be excavated in April/May to identify where key utilities are, such as gas, water and electric mains as well as key telecoms cables.
The main work will see a new bridge built alongside the existing one, which goes over the C10 Station Road, and traffic transferred over before the old steel bridge is removed.
Approximately 380 metres of the A35 will also be realigned.
Deputy HCC leader 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.”
Cllr Humby, also HCC’s cabinet member for economy, transport and the environment, said the new bridge will minimise maintenance costs, and improvements to the A35 will enhance drainage in the area and ensure safer travel on this key route through the New Forest.
“We have been working closely and extensively with the New Forest National Park Authority, Verderers, Natural England and Forestry England throughout to make sure this this scheme is carried out sensitively in this unique part of Hampshire.”
He added that, subject to coronavirus restrictions, the Old Station Tea Rooms will be open throughout the work.