November 13, 2013
Contractor Hochtief confirms delay to 10-week Abbey Bridge and Viaduct full closure period
Hochtief, the contractor delivering the Abbey Bridge and Viaduct replacement, has confirmed the full closure period will need to be extended by three weeks because of delays on the project.
Originally a 10-week closure period was given by Hochtief but it has now stated it's expected that the link will not re-open to vehicles until December 20.
Cllr John Smith OBE, Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport and County Councillor for Evesham North West, said: "The news from Hochtief came as a real surprise as we understood work had been progressing well. I am very disappointed. This extension to the closure period clearly falls outside the agreement we had and we will be in discussions with them regarding the contractual issues this raises at an appropriate time.
"Getting this link open as quickly as is possible is of paramount importance. Our main focus now has to be how we can help the town and its traders.
"We'll be doing what we can to help. The half-price bus fare offer will stay in place until the end of the year and we'll also be looking at the possibility of extending the car-parking discount scheme. Measures are currently being finalised.
"Finally, and most importantly, I'd like to say thank-you to everyone in the community for supporting our town during the closure period. This news is a setback but I'm sure the support shown so far for our businesses will continue. Please keep backing Evesham."
The temporary traffic diversion agreed following a public consultation last summer, which is operated manually to help traffic flow, will stay in place until the bridge and viaduct is fully re-opened. Extensive signage on all major routes in to Evesham offering information on the project will also remain.
The half-price bus fare promotion, which is available on all single, return, daily and weekly tickets* will continue until the end of 2013. An extension to the short-stay car parking discounts in the run-up to Christmas and additional car parking incentives are currently being finalised.
Help with journey planning and alternatives to single-use car travel can be found on the dedicated web section www.worcestershire.gov.uk/abbeybridge. The webpage, which includes a host of useful information on bus services (including school/college transport), walking, cycling, rail travel and car-sharing to help with journey planning.
The temporary pedestrian bridge – around 30 metres to the west of Abbey Bridge – will remain open throughout the closure ensuring the commitment pedestrian and cyclist access throughout the scheme is kept.
For the latest information on the project visit the dedicated website section www.worcestershire.gov.uk/abbeybridge or follow Worcestershire County Council on Twitter (@worcscc) and look out for #AbbeyBridge.
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