Posted on Friday 28th February 2020
Repairs to a Grade II Listed road bridge over the River Tame in Staffordshire can soon begin following an announcement today that a Government funding bid for £2.35 million has been successful.
Chetwynd Bridge carries the A513 Croxall Road over the River Tame near the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas. Traffic management measures have been in place since January 2019 after a safety inspection found that the cast iron road railings had deteriorated and could not withstand impact from traffic.
To ensure vehicles could still cross the bridge, concrete blocks were installed as temporary parapets. This reduced the road width to single lane access with traffic light signals in place. The speed limit was also reduced from 60mph to 40mph.
Today, the Department for Transport announced that the county council was one of 32 successful bidders to the Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund. The £93 million fund will help to repair roads and bridges nationally.
It means a two-year restoration of Chetwynd Bridge can now begin. Without the repairs, the bridge would have had to close to traffic in three years.
The repair programme will see the installation of permanent vehicle barriers on each side of the road along with restored heritage cast iron railings and panels. Permanent traffic lights will be installed with the current single lane retained. There will be a full refurbishment of the bridge, including the cast iron arches and sandstone piers.
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Helen Fisher said:
Chetwynd Bridge is one of the county’s iconic listed structures, located next to the NMA. It is 200 years old and obviously not designed for modern traffic, which has had led to its deterioration.
It’s fantastic news then that this bid to Government has been successful, meaning we can get on with the job of restoring the bridge and installing permanent signals. We are pleased this scheme was recognised in what was an incredibly competitive process.
We will release more detail on the repair works has soon as we can and look forward to getting started as soon as possible.”
The county council has worked with a range of partners to develop the scheme, including Historic England, Lichfield District Council, the National Memorial Arboretum, the Environment Agency and local residents.
In the long term, it is hoped that funding can be secured to build a new road bridge and transform the 19th century Chetwynd Bridge, which was built by the County Surveyor Joseph Potter, into a cycle link and footpath to the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA). It is estimated that the cost of the new bridge would be around £14 million.