Major maintenance and resurfacing work on the Harnham Bridge, New Bridge Road in Salisbury is set to take longer than expected as the ongoing scheme highlighted additional works needed to preserve and maintain the 85 year old bridge.
The additional work was only discovered once the original deck was exposed and, together with the delays caused by the uncovering of a gas leak at the beginning of the work, means that the scheme will unfortunately overrun. The council is now aiming to have the road fully reopen to traffic by Monday 11 September.
Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for highways said: “We were always aiming to have the road reopened before the schools went back, but the unexpected issues mean we will unfortunately not meet that target. We are sorry about these extra delays, however we have done everything possible in an effort to keep disruption to a minimum as usual. This has included working longer hours and over the weekends. Motorists have also benefited from a temporary suspension of the works to allow unrestricted use of the bridge over the Bank Holiday weekend, which reduced the risk of delays to visitors to the Great Dorset Steam Fair.”
Harnham Bridge originally built in 1933 is a well preserved example of early reinforced concrete design and carries significantly more traffic than the original builders could ever have envisaged. Regular users will be aware that the old surfacing was very prone to potholes across the bridge, this works will address that problem making the road safer for all users. It is also important that the bridge is kept in a good condition through timely maintenance such as that now being undertaken to ensure that it remains safe for traffic to use well in to the future