• Fri. Jun 24th, 2022

Installation of a temporary bridge over the A303 in Somerset

ByLinda W. Smith

May 12, 2022

A TEMPORARY bridge is being installed from tomorrow (Friday May 13) on a road in Somerset to reduce the impact during a leveling programme.

A 200 tonne crane will lift the bridge girders, deck and other infrastructure into place over the A303 at Steart Hill between Friday evening (May 13) and early Monday morning (May 16).

National Motorway engineers working on the A303 Sparkford project in Ilchester are putting the structure in place to keep construction traffic off the main road, ensuring the project has minimal impact for road users and residents.

It will be put in place to ensure that construction traffic carrying earth from one side of the site to the other does not impact motorists using the A303.

The temporary bridge will be in place for 35 weeks to complete the earthworks for the project.

The A303 will be closed between Hazlegrove and Podimore roundabouts for the weekend, from 10 p.m. Friday May 13 until 5 a.m. Monday May 16 while the bridge is in place.

The weather-dependent installation will involve the crane maneuvering three bridge girders into place and installing the deck throughout Saturday and Sunday.

During weekend closures, clearly signposted diversions will be in place via the A359 and A37.

National Highways is working with delivery partners Galliford Try to deliver the project, and Hannah Sanderson, National Highways Program Manager, said: “The installation of the temporary bridge marks a significant milestone for this major project, which is extremely important to the future of Somerset and vital to the A303/A358 corridor.

“The progress of the work is exciting, and this temporary taxiway allows us to minimize disruption throughout construction.

“We will ensure that motorists are fully informed of detours and suggested routes via signage and the media.

“We advise drivers to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys over the weekend.”

On average, the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester carries 23,500 vehicles, but the number increases dramatically in summer, particularly at weekends, making journeys unreliable and unpredictable.

With construction underway, the upgrade is expected to open to traffic in the spring of 2024.

You can find out more about the schedule and construction process on the National Highways Virtual Exhibition at https://highwaysengland.co.uk/our-work/south-west/a303-sparkford-to-ilchester/

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