Burton Gateways bridges repair project

A £6.1million refurbishment scheme to safeguard the future use St. Peter’s Bridge and Burton Bridge is being carried out. It started in August 2017 on St Peter’s Bridge with this phase being completed in the autumn ahead of schedule.

St Peter's Bridge

Vital strengthening work needed be carried out on St. Peter’s Bridge, meaning HGVs can continue to access the town into the future. Waterproofing and resurfacing work were undertaken.





Burton Bridge

Improvement work to Burton Bridge will begin in the spring with the main part of the scheme taking place from June 18. It will include strengthening, resurfacing and upgrading gullies to help prevent surface flooding.








The funding for the project is part of the multi-million pound Highway Challenge Fund by the Department for Transport.

Works plan

The improvements will ensure that both bridges, which form vital links through Burton will be free of unplanned and disruptive maintenance work in the future. Preliminary work on Burton Bridge will begin in the spring, with the closure of three lanes necessary from June 18.

The bridge is due to fully reopen before the schools return in September.One lane will be kept open, apart from two nights when a full closure is necessary. Access for pedestrians and cyclists will be maintained over the bridge throughout the scheme. 


Why does the work need to take place?

St Peter’s Bridge and Burton Bridge provide main routes into Burton town centre carrying on average 24,000 vehicles a day each.

Burton Bridge has served the town well for more than 150 years – but time takes its toll and it is imperative that weakness in the structure are tackled.

Unlike the modern St Peter’s Bridge, the strength for Burton Bridge comes from the arch-based design stretching across the river. There are around 30 arches.

The strengthening work will involve filling three of the disused and redundant arch spans already closed on one side and supporting a further span, under which the footway/cycleway passes, by constructing an arch beneath it. This will reinforce the weak spot on the bridge.

Over the years the bearings on St Peter’s Bridge – which allow movement of the bridge as traffic travels over it – had worn and needed replacing. Patch and repair work would have meant ongoing works sporadically over years, causing significant disruption and affecting the town’s economy.

If this work had not been carried out, a weight limit would need to be introduced on St Peter’s bridge in 2019, with a full permanent closure in 2024.

How long will the work take?

The Burton Bridge repairs will start in spring with a closure of three lanes needed from June 18. It is scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the school term in early September.

What will happen to local bus services?

Burton Bridge will remain open apart from two night time closures. We would ask bus travellers to check their local timetables for any service changes nearer to the beginning of the main works period in June.

Can I get in touch with a member of the highways team?

If you have any questions about the work or concerns about how the work is being carried out, please do not hesitate to call our contact centre on 0300 111 8000 or email highways@staffordshire.gov.uk

Can I receive updates on this project?

Yes, we’ll be issuing further updates as the scheme progresses. To sign up to the newsletter update please click here.

Burton Bridge facts

  • The bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Burton and the “new” bridge was opened in 1863 and was widened in 1923.

  • Designed by the Midland Railway Company, the bridge was paid for by the Marquis of Anglesey, as Lord of Burton manor railways companies.

  • The bridge took 18 months to complete and a general holiday was proclaimed to mark the completion of the engineering feat.

St Peter’s Bridge facts

  • Construction of St Peter’s Bridge began in 1983 and it was opened in 1984.

  • The bridge is 800 metres long.

  • Each day 24,000 vehicles pass across the bridge.

  • Along the road over St Peters Bridge there are five structures – Pumphouse Viaduct, flood relief culverts, Stapenhill Underpass, St Peters Bridge and St Peters footbridge. Maintenance will be carried out on all five structures.

  • There are 80 bearings in total supporting Pumphouse Viaduct and St Peters Bridge to allow the bridge’s decks to move relative to their supports.

  • The bridge decks were designed to move under traffic loading and also expand and contract given variations in temperature. The multiple types of bearing used have different functions to allow movement and rotation in specific directions.

  • The sliding face of bearings includes a stainless steel polished surface and a low friction surface where movement occurs. Many of the original bearings are now worn and distorted and need replacement. The new bearings will be made from higher grade materials to reduce the need for future maintenance.

  • There are joints between the different sections of the bridge deck. These joints allow the sections of deck to move without affecting the road surfacing, preventing water leaking onto the bearings beneath. Many of the original joints now need replacing with modern equivalents.

  • Bridge decks have a waterproofing membrane beneath the road surfacing and above the concrete bridge deck. This membrane prevents surface water soaking through the concrete reinforcement and allowing rusting to develop. As a result of heavy traffic the road surface and waterproofing beneath have failed and become distorted. This scheme is the most efficient way to coordinate the replacement of surfacing and waterproofing.

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