Extra time needed for bridge construction


The new bridge over Station Road in Taunton

Work to build a new bridge as part of a major road scheme in Taunton will continue into early next week.

Station Road has been closed this week while Somerset County Council’s contractor Carillion builds the new Kingston Loop Bridge as part of the Northern Inner Distributor Road (NIDR) project.

Carillion has informed the Council that it will not finish this work by Friday as planned. This is due to delays in lifting key components into place.

Station Road will reopen for the weekend and then close again to traffic next week from 6am on Monday. The intention is to reopen the road by 11.30pm on Wednesday at the latest.

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “We are very disappointed that the contractor has not been able to complete the bridge works this week as planned because we know this will mean additional disruption.

“Please be aware of the road closure next week and plan your journey carefully.”

The new bridge has been designed to preserve the look of the Station Road area as much as possible, and the historic steel edge beams have been refurbished and will be returned with the new bridge.

The Kingston Loop Bridge is the last major structural component of the NIDR to complete, although other work remains. This includes surfacing near the new bridge; surfacing, lining and lighting between the new bridge and Staplegrove roundabout; signing and lining to prevent parking on the new route; completion of the Firepool Bridge, and general landscaping. The Council expects the contractor to complete the new road by the end of 2016.

The alternative arrangements in place this week will continue.

  • For vehicles, a signed diversion route will be in place via the Obridge Viaduct, although, as with any road closure, drivers are free to seek their own alternatives.
  • For pedestrians, access will be maintained during working hours (6.30am to 11.30pm) using steps and a ramp via Whitehall. Outside of working hours, one of the footpaths beneath the bridge will be reopened for pedestrian access.
  • For pedestrians with limited mobility, Carillion will be providing a shuttle bus.
  • Parents with prams and pushchairs will be offered help using the steps, or they can choose to catch the shuttle bus.
  • Cyclists can use the diversion for vehicles or will be offered assistance using the pedestrian route. Alternative routes for cyclists are also available, including via Leslie Avenue/The Avenue to the west, and via Obridge Road/Winkworth Way/offroad cycletrack/Canal Road to the east.

During the closure, you can keep up to date with the latest traffic conditions at www.travelsomerset.co.uk or by following @TravelSomerset on Twitter.

The NIDR is a multi-million pound project commissioned by Somerset County Council and carried out by the construction contractor Carillion to unlock the Firepool regeneration site where there are ambitious plans for a riverside business, residential and shopping development. By providing a link from Priory Avenue to Staplegrove Road, it should also help to ease congestion in the town centre and on Priorswood Road.