Work to rebuild Wellingborough bridge finally starts

Work to rebuild a key Wellingborough bridge finally got under way yesterday (Monday), seven months after it should have been finished.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 6:00 am
The demolished bridge.
The demolished bridge.

The Irthlingborough Road bridge, linking the town to the Leyland Trading Estate and on to Irthlingborough, was closed in October 2018 and demolished as part of Network Rail’s electrification works.

Businesses were promised it would re-open by April with a 4.9 mile diversion in the meantime, but were left furious when it was announced in February that the replacement bridge wouldn’t be built after all.

However, following pressure from businesses and MPs, Network Rail said in April that a replacement bridge would be built at an increased height, much to the relief of businesses on the estate.

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There was further anger at the delay in August but Network Rail engineers finally started work to rebuild the bridge yesterday. It will be completed and open to vehicles and pedestrians by summer next year.

Jon Cousens, director of Wellingborough Tyres on the trading estate, said that it was good news but that the wait for the bridge to open has been too long

He said: "Given the circumstances we are in we want it open sooner rather than later."

He added that the closure of the nearby Ditchford Road bridge, which started yesterday, will have a knock-on effect on the estate.

Network Rail is holding a public information event on Wednesday, November 13, between 4pm and 6pm at Unit 10 on the Leyland Trading Estate.

There will be a presentation with more detail about the phases of construction from 4.30pm and Network Rail workers will be on hand to answer any questions businesses and residents may have.

Gavin Crook, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Good progress has been made on this project since our last public meeting in August.

"We have appointed a contractor, ordered the replacement bridge deck and have developed a robust plan to rebuild the bridge.

“We continue to work closely with Northamptonshire County Council and Wellingborough Council and would like to reassure all those impacted by the closure that we are working to complete the project as quickly as possible.

“We would like to thank all those affected for their patience.”