The Rochester Bridge Trust is preparing to carry out a major refurbishment of Rochester’s bridges, and this blog post is to introduce you to the project, to reassure you and to ask for your patience.
The refurbishment will include work on the 104-year-old Old Bridge, the New Bridge and the Service Bridge in between the two, as well as the part of the Esplanade owned by the Trust.
We’ve already started to introduce you to advance elements of the planning process – we’ve told you about planning applications and prototypes for the Old Bridge’s ornate lighting – and we are currently in the final stages of planning for the refurbishment. This includes details about individual tasks, and designing them to be managed with minimal disruption to the public.
The refurbishment works will include: the lighting upgrade; expansion joint replacement; installation of new drainage systems; and various items of painting and repair. All this, and more, is being planned to maintain the crossings to the high standards the Rochester Bridge Trust requires – for safety, durability and quality.
A lot more information about individual elements of the refurbishment will be shared on this blog before, during and after the works, and the finer detail of the programme will be confirmed once a contractor is in place. Tendering for that role will begin in the summer.
As a brief overview, the plan is to begin with works on the New Bridge, then the Service Bridge, then the Old Bridge, finishing at the Esplanade. While there may be some overlap, this sequencing means we will generally be able to keep disruption down to one lane closure at a time, with the rest of the lanes open as usual.
This refurbishment will take more than a year and there will be some disruption. However, as you will be aware from previous road works, it is our priority to keep the bridges open and to minimise disruption to the public.
The chosen contractor will be required to keep lane closures to the minimum required for safe working. Projects affecting traffic being carried out elsewhere by other organisations will also be taken into account as much as possible.
We are telling you this now because we want to reassure the public we will be doing everything we can to minimise disruption, also to ask for your patience during the duration of the refurbishment. Any lane closures that do take place will be to ensure the safety of the public and the safety of the people carrying out this essential maintenance.
As with all work to the bridges, the cost of this refurbishment is being met by the Rochester Bridge Trust, with no charge to the government or public purse.