One-month delay to bridge project

Woodseats Road Bridge Replacement Works
Woodseats Road Bridge Replacement Works
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HALF-finished work to rebuild a weak bridge on a main road in Sheffield could be completed within the month, according to Network Rail.

Most of the £1.7 million project to reconstruct Woodseats Road bridge over the Midland Main Line railway was supposed to have been completed over Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

But strong winds, which also hampered construction of another bridge over rail tracks in Doncaster, meant the planned work on Woodseats Road could not be completed within the 48-hour Christmas period when there are no services.

Network Rail and Sheffield Council planned to have demolished the old bridge and put the main structure of the new bridge in place during the two days, with the bridge completed on Tuesday and reopen yesterday.

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “At Woodseats Road, we have completed the critical phase of the work, which was putting the section of bridge in place over the main line tracks.

“We needed to reposition the crane to complete the second section of the bridge, for which more sections need to be lifted into place.

“However, the amount done over Christmas and Boxing Day means the rest of the work can be done overnight and we are hoping it can happen over a single weekend.”

She added: “We should be able to reschedule the work to take place over the next month.”

Woodseats Road is the second major road in Sheffield to be closed after a landslip shut Glossop Road, Broomhill, which is not due to reopen until January 16. Work was delayed by bad weather and unexpected problems with a water main.

Prior to demolition, Woodseats Road bridge over the railway line near Abbeydale Road had been reduced to a single lane for a decade, since it was examined in 2001.

It was deemed too weak to cope with heavy lorries, and vehicles had to cross in single file, controlled by traffic lights.

But despite the delayed reconstruction, the bridge will still be finished earlier than it was feared six months ago.

A Sheffield Council report in June revealed that, due to delays in obtaining money for the scheme, officers thought they would be too late to serve notice to Network Rail in time to carry out the work on Christmas and Boxing Day this year.

Officers feared reconstruction work would be unlikely any time before Christmas 2012.