Tuesday 31 Jan 2017
Residents and motorists benefit from new road bridge in Newbury as electrification moves closer
Residents and motorists in Newbury will benefit from a new road bridge at Boundary Road which opened today after 12 months of construction, restoring an important route through the town.
The new bridge stands higher than its predecessor to allow infrastructure which will power electric trains to run underneath. Bigger, faster and greener electric trains are set to run through Newbury by the end of 2018 as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
The bridge has been widened in order to make it a two-lane bridge, but it has re-opened as a single-lane crossing with temporary traffic lights until work commences on the adjacent Sterling Cables housing development.
Network Rail worked with West Berkshire Council to agree a suitable diversion route throughout the temporary closure of the bridge.
The old bridge was removed in June 2016 and a new one was installed over two weekends in September, whilst the last five months have seen the diversion of utilities from the footbridge to the new bridge.
In July, pupils from St Nicolas’ Primary School in Newbury submitted artwork to brighten up the temporary footbridge, which has now gone. The artwork proved to be such a hit that it will be moved and displayed at Newbury and Newbury Racecourse stations.
The bridge was opened on Tuesday, 31 January by Robbie Burns, Network Rail’s regional director of infrastructure projects, and Richard Benyon, MP for Newbury.
Robbie Burns, Network Rail’s regional director of infrastructure projects, said: “The construction of this new bridge at Boundary Road, as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, is another important step towards the new fleet of bigger, faster and greener electric trains coming to Newbury.
“We would like to thank residents and motorists for their patience as we completed this essential work.
Jeanette Clifford, West Berkshire Council’s executive member for highways and transport, said: “It’s great to see the new Boundary Road Bridge opened – and it’s a welcome reminder that the benefits of electrification are coming ever closer.
“We’re particularly pleased that because of the council’s relatively small contribution of £250,000 towards the project, the new bridge has two lanes, unlike the old narrow bridge it replaced which only had one. Congratulations are due to Network Rail for completing this very complex project on a difficult site, but even more importantly, our sincere thanks are due to local residents who have shown enormous forbearance over many months.”
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 19 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, more than 4.6 million journeys are made in the UK. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.