...And more on the new Medway crossing
  • 05 10 2015

...And more on the new Medway crossing

Source: Steve Loader

An elegant bridge over the River Medway is taking shape near the villages of Halling and Wouldham.

This all-new river crossing is part of a £50 million scheme by Trenport – backed by £19.5 million of Government funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) - to create the new 1,000-home Peters Village community and connect it with neighbouring areas on both banks of the Medway, while also improving their transport links.

Work on the overall project began in May 2014, with bridge construction itself from spring this year, preceded by sheet pile strengthening of the river banks bearing the roadway onto the crossing.

Trenport Managing Director Tony Parson said: “The whole scheme is right on schedule and we are particularly pleased with progress on the bridge.

“This will soon open up new employment, education, shopping, and recreation horizons for the east bank villages of Wouldham, Burham and Eccles, as well as serving their new neighbour Peters Village through linking with the A228 on the Medway’s west bank."

Two coffer dams - effectively watertight boxes resting on the river bed – enabled site teams to build the two bridge supports, now poking their heads above the dams. Each support has 15 piles running 48-50 metres down through the river bed into rock to support the weight of the bridge and roadway.

These pile foundations were core drilled, and then filled with steel reinforcements and concrete – a quieter and more environmentally-friendly process than conventional piling.

Two temporary jetties advanced steadily from the river banks to carry the plant and machinery needed for the piling and coffer dams, and enable the three bridge spans to be constructed: two 40-metre sections between each bank and its nearest support, with a 60-metre mid-section to complete the crossing.

Tony Parson added: “The jetties are crucial, as the spans will be formed from concrete in situ, rather than pre-fabricated and brought in by road; this is faster and causes less traffic congestion, and totally in keeping with our site contractor Bam Nuttall’s methods - a company known for environmental awareness and 'good neighbourliness'.”

A second bridge is also being constructed over the nearby rail line, west of the river bridge, replacing one which would be unable to cope with traffic using the new crossing. Both new bridges will be fully open by late summer 2016, with the whole Peters Village development due for completion in 2022.

PICTURED: The tops of the two elegant concrete bridge supports begin to rise above the construction jetties, and are currently linked by the temporary girdered causeway - bespoke concrete spans will be built soon, in situ for speed and environmental reasons.