Traffic measures are currently in place on the historic Chetwynd Bridge to allow motorists to continue to use it safely. The bridge is located over River Tame, A513 Croxall Road, adjacent to the National Memorial Arboretum near Alrewas.
Following a safety inspection, the cast iron roadside parapets on the Grade II* listed bridge were found to be no longer fit for purpose, with a high risk they couldn’t withstand impact from traffic.
To ensure people can still use the bridge safely, concrete blocks have been installed as temporary parapets. Due to the reduced road width, only single lane traffic is being allowed and this is being controlled by traffic lights. The speed limit has also been reduced from 60mph to 40mph.
In the long term, we hope to secure funding to construct a new bridge and transform the nineteenth century bridge, which was built by the County Surveyor Joseph Potter, into a cycle link and walk-way to the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA).
To ensure the existing Grade II* structure remains in use and to stabilise the parapets, we have submitted a bid for funding (2.33 MB) as part of the Government’s Local Highway Maintenance Challenge Fund. The outcome of this bidding process will be announced at the end of December 2019. If successful, essential repairs to the existing structure can commence in January 2020.
Preliminary design has estimated the cost of a new bypass structure to be in the region of £14m for which we are investigating funding opportunities.
We would like to thank motorists for their patience.
Frequently asked questions
Why are there temporary traffic lights when no work appears to be taking place?
The measures have been put in place on safety grounds only. A safety inspection showed the cast iron parapets are unlikely to be able to withstand a traffic collision. Safety has to be the priority and that’s why only single lane traffic is now allowed.
Why don’t you just repair the damage?
The bridge has served the community well for nearly 200 years, but the ageing parapets were never intended to contain modern traffic. We aim to build a new bridge and turn the current bridge in to a cycle way to the National Memorial Arboretum.
How long will the measures be in place?
Funding for a new £14 million structure is not yet available. Should the maintenance bid be successful essential repairs will begin in January 2020. The single lane operation is therefore likely to be in place for several years.
How will the bridge cope with traffic?
We have been monitoring the traffic flow and it appears to be working well for normal traffic. Where extra traffic is expected such, as events at Catton Park, they have employed a traffic management company to help minimise disruption.
There are very large events at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) also, but most visitors would travel from the A38, and not use the bridge. However, for the largest of these events, NMA utilise car parks at Catton Park, so visitors are transported by bus from there to the NMA.
What our your long-term plans for the bridge?
Our aim is to construct a new bridge, divert traffic onto it when it is completed.
In order to do this, there would be significant work involved which would include land purchase, ground investigation, detailed design, approvals from Heritage England, Environment Agency, Environmental and Ecological permits.