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Restoration work at historic Grade II Listed bridge nears completion as new weight restriction introduced

Posted on Tuesday 6th December 2022
Chetwynd Bridge newsroom

Chetwynd Bridge

An eight-month project to restore a Staffordshire Grade II Listed road bridge is nearing completion though a new weight restriction is now needed to ensure safety.

Chetwynd Bridge near Alrewas is 200 years old and its ironwork structure has started to deteriorate. The carefully planned restoration is due to be completed this month, with a small amount finishing works in spring 2023 when the river levels are lower.

An initial structural assessment found that an 18-tonne weight restriction needed to be placed on the bridge to prevent it from deteriorating further and protect people’s safety. However, as the repair work has progressed, engineers have found the damage to the cast iron on the bridge is more severe than first thought.

To prevent further damage and full closure to all traffic, a new 7.5-tonne weight restriction will now be needed as soon as possible.

Staffordshire County Council is looking for funding opportunities for the design and construction of a new bridge, which is expected to cost over £15million.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport David Williams said:

Chetwynd Bridge is listed and a historic asset to people in Staffordshire and neighbouring Derbyshire. Our careful restoration work will ensure it is safe to use and in keeping with its historic status.

Whilst an initial structural survey recommended an 18-tonne weight restriction, as work has progressed and the extent of damage to the cast iron been revealed, we must now reduce this to 7.5 tonnes.

This is if course very frustrating and we understand how inconvenient this will be for local residents and businesses, but we will not compromise on people’s safety. Without this course of action, the bridge would have to close. Its use will be closely monitored once the reduced weight restriction is in place.

We will continue to keep local communities and businesses informed as work continues. In the longer term, the county council is planning to remove all vehicular traffic from Chetwynd Bridge and put it onto the new bypass road bridge. This will transform Chetwynd Bridge into a cycle and pedestrian route and preserve it for future generations.”

For the first time the project team is using solar panels on site to help power the works and support the county council’s commitment to combat climate change.

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