Just trying to bring all the information together about the Closure of St Peter Bridge and to show why it’s so important people are aware of this.
Comments from Conor Wileman Cllr
After more than 30 years of service, St Peter’s Bridge will close to traffic from the 29th August to 17 November 2017.
In 2010 it was identified that 3 bearings on the bridge were suffering from ‘steel de-lamination’ which is likely to cause lock-up and ultimately cause loads to be transmitted into the supporting structures. As of March this year, it was identified that 32 bearings across the whole bridge length were locked up (photos attached). The result is a bridge which is structurally failing which would lead, if left, to a full closure of the bridge to all traffic. It is fully understood that this will cause long and significant delays to Burton residents but it is also crucial that we ensure St Peter’s Bridge is structurally sound for the future.
The work will consist of replacing all bearings along the length of the bridge and also replacing the carriageway joints which will crucially have secondary seals or drainage to limit water coming into contact with the bearings in future. The bridge will also be fully resurfaced and waterproofed.
In terms of the closure I have asked whether it’s feasible to shut one side of the bridge and then the other but the advice from highways engineers is that the work would take 9 months to complete rather than 3 – this would put the money secured from central government in jeopardy as the Council must spend the money in a certain timeframe. I have also asked that all other planned roadworks in the Burton area are delayed until after completion.
My own thoughts are that the bridge was not built to last and should have had four lanes. It is also important to note that the widening of St Peter’s Bridge would be unviable without this significant structural investment.
Comments by Andrew Griffiths MP for Burton and Uttoxeter
Anyone who drives around Burton knows how vital Burton Bridge and St. Peter’s Bridge are to the town. Without them, traffic would grind to a halt. Yet you may not know that the bridges are in serious need of urgent repair to the structure, and without vital attention, they risk being closed to HGVs.
So I am delighted that this week proved successful for the campaign I have been running with Councillor Conor Wileman to secure money for the repairs. Transport Minister Jesse Norman MP announced he was awarding £5million for us to repair the bridges. Not only does this mean we can invest in this vital infrastructure, it means the County Council, who would have had to find the funding, can now use that money to repair roads elsewhere in the town.
Question and Answers
Below I also answer concerns about river usage and communication with Derbyshire County Council. Further information will provided on Staffordshire County Council’s website and again through the Burton Mail. This information below is courtesy of the Staffordshire County Council highway engineers undertaking the works.
The River Trent will be open to canoeists and rowers whilst work is undertaken on St Peter’s Bridge although work on the structure of Burton Bridge will require some work to take place at river level – again though the river channel will remain open. The work will be adequately signed and de-marked to ensure the safety of waterway users.
Full closure – why?
There are a number of reasons why the work cannot be undertaken on one lane at a time, the first is the size of the planer equipment required to remove the running surfaces of the bridge and the paver equipment required to replace the various layers of the running surface afterwards. The carriageway is 7.4m wide across the two lanes of the bridge. The planer and paver require a working area of 3.0m – 3.5m respectively, outside of which there is a required safety zone of at least 1.0m required and outside this 0.5m for a concrete safety barrier as would be required if traffic was allowed to continue using the bridge in one lane. In order to use the footway for vehicles would require it to be broken out and surfaced and drainage holes covered, that would also make it dangerous as water could not drain away. If this was feasible, it would be very time consuming adding to the overall disruption and add considerable aborted works costs to the scheme. Notwithstanding the above, during the actual planing and resurfacing, traffic cannot run adjacent to where the planings are airborne into the back of the transportation vehicles; and tippers are required at the side of the paver to feed the ‘chipper’ that supplies the pre-coated stone into the surface mat. There are very few surfacing schemes where it is possible to leave standard width roads open on any scheme.
Also, the deck once exposed has to be cleaned, concrete repairs undertaken and then kept very clean before the waterproofing can be applied. The waterproofing also requires ideal temperature and dry conditions to be laid. Vehicles running past the cleaned deck would cause detritus to settle on the cleaned surface; and to ensure we are not weather dependant that could add to the duration of the works, the whole deck width will be covered by a working ‘tent’ that can be moved along the deck in sections and ensure the surface is kept clean, not affected by wet weather and in which the temperature can be controlled.
Staffordshire County Council Network Management have contacted Derbyshire CC requesting planned works on the A511 and A444 are not permitted whilst this work is undertaken. Roadworks.org is a good website to view upcoming roadworks and diversions in place. Works are likely to be revised through ongoing communication with both Councils.