Cornwall motorists benefit as bridge upgrade finishes on time: Locals gather with Network Rail's orange army as MP Sarah Newton officially opens the bridge

Monday 17 Oct 2016

Cornwall motorists benefit as bridge upgrade finishes on time


Residents in Cornwall are enjoying the benefits of an upgrade to the Saveock bridge in Chacewater, west of Truro, after the vital route into and out of Truro city centre reopened to motorists on Friday, 14 October.

The completion of the bridge was welcomed by residents and Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth, who cut the ribbon to officially reopen the road following 18 weeks of work that required the bridge to close.

The work forms part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers and was delivered on time and on budget.

The project involved the removal of the carriageway and existing bridge deck, the diversion of utility services such as electricity and gas lines, upgrades to the bridge’s structure, the installation of the new deck and the reconstruction of the carriageway.

The complete replacement of the deck will ensure the safety of the bridge's users and prevents a weight limit being enforced in the future, allowing more motorists to access the vital route.

The completion of this upgrade also means that the bridge will not require major maintenance for 120 years.

George Bartlett, Network Rail’s project manager for the scheme, said: “I would like to thank residents for their patience and understanding as we carried out this extensive upgrade.

“Where possible we reduced any disruption for local people and we’re delighted to be able to finish the project on time. The work was essential to ensure the future of the bridge, which provides a vital route in and out of Truro.”

Andy Stevenson, Cornwall Council's highways manager, said: "Anyone who uses this route knows that the closure of Saveock has caused significant traffic congestion on the surrounding road network. While these were essential works, we did our best to mitigate the worst effects on road users.

"As such we are really pleased to see the work on this key commuter route has been completed on time and like Network Rail, would like to thank motorists and residents for their patience during this time."

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About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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