Esh Construction’s civil engineering division has completed major repair work to a Grade II listed bridge in Bubwith, allowing the bridge to re-open two weeks earlier than planned.
The single-track road bridge was in need of emergency repair and strengthening works after the structure, which carries the A163 over the River Derwent, was hit by a car in September 2022, causing significant damage to the headwall and parapet. A full closure was planned throughout the 15-week programme, however work was completed within 13 weeks.
Following start on site in July this year, the first phase of works saw the installation of an encapsulated scaffold which allowed grit blasting, steel girder reinforcement and masonry repairs to the parapets to be carried out safely. Masonry repairs included the use of steel staples to pin the stonework together for additional strength, and the steel girders have been refurbished.
Another critical phase saw specialist vacuum excavation works undertaken to remove the fill from the eastern and western bridge arches, allowing steel anchors and concrete infill to be installed to further strengthen the structure.
Final works included the installation of a vehicle restraint system to prevent any future damage of a similar nature, as well as kerbing, ducting, surfacing and road marking.
Steven Garrigan, Divisional Director at Esh Construction, said: “The closure of Bubwith bridge has undoubtedly had a significant impact on the local community, and from the outset we understood the importance of completing the essential repair works as quickly as possible. The progress on site is testament to the collaborative efforts of our client, site team and sub-contractors which has enabled us to complete the scheme ahead of programme.
“Over half of the contract value has been re-invested within 20 miles of site through our commitment to procuring local suppliers and sub-contractors where possible to do so given the specialist nature of the trades required.”
Councillor Paul West, the council’s portfolio holder for environment and transport, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to reopen this bridge two weeks early.
“I’m sure the residents of Bubwith and the surrounding area are extremely pleased the work is finished and the bridge can finally reopen to traffic. We had no option but to close the bridge to carry out these repairs and I want to thank the local residents for being very patient with us while the work was carried out.
“We know this has been a difficult time for them, but they have been very supportive and understood this was about making the bridge safe again for years to come.
“I want to commend our civil engineering team and our contractors Esh Construction for being so accommodating and carrying out an impressive repair scheme in a shorter time frame.”
Originally built in 1798 and a Grade II listed structure, all repairs undertaken are sympathetic to the existing bridge and its surroundings.
The closure of Bubwith bridge has undoubtedly had a significant impact on the local community, and from the outset we understood the importance of completing the essential repair works as quickly as possible. The progress on site is testament to the collaborative efforts of our client, site team and sub-contractors which has enabled us to complete the scheme ahead of programme.”