Peters Village countdown for 2016 - Medway bridged again
Source: Steve Loader
Peters Village developer Trenport has confirmed that it will step back from onsite construction there later this year, as planned, and a little over two years since work began on the £50million project.
This year will also mark the return of a crossing at Wouldham: the Medway’s banks were temporarily linked at that point by a Bailey Bridge during World War II.
“Major infrastructure works on Peters Village by ourselves and our onsite contactor BAM Nuttall will have been completed by late summer this year and, without tempting providence at the 11th hour, have gone smoothly and to schedule,” said Trenport Director Chris Hall.
But he added that remaining work this year did include some of the biggest elements in the creation of the new 1,000-home community on the River Medway’s east bank near Wouldham.
Largest of these is the all-new road bridge over the river – grander and more permanent than the wartime structure. It is due to open to traffic in late August and bears a new carriageway, linking with the Snodland-Halling roundabout of the A228 west of the river.
But this route also depends on completion of a new rail bridge spanning the north-south rail line between the river and the A228, one of the last elements able to be put in place.
Trenport’s project manager Paul Morris explained: “There is an ageing brick and steel bridge over the railway, built simply for access when the old cement industry was active, but inadequate for a modern day road link carrying the sort of volumes needed here.
“However, with the train timetable taking priority, ‘windows’ of opportunity for building a replacement were few, but BAM Nuttall now has an agreed programme with Network Rail and has started building embankments and boring holes for piled foundations needed to bear the new rail bridge.
“Work should then be completed at around the same time as the Medway crossing and allow demolition of the old bridge over the railway. Both new bridges will include footways and cycleways.”
He added that another major job in hand is completion of the east bank riverside walkway: “It will be a showpiece landmark for the entire development, with timber and composite riverbank cladding and block paviors for the walkway/cycleway. A crane is needed to manoeuvre the cladding into place, so the walkway surfacing itself has to come after that element is completed or risk damage from the crane’s movements.
“All work on services – water, gas, electricity and telecomms – are nearly complete and the footpaths programme in Court Road is a priority, due to finish soon.”
Looking ahead, Chris Hall said: “We are delighted that our first housebuilder, Bellway, is now onsite and due to start construction this month.
“We anticipate announcements soon also for other housebuilders taking up the further phases on what we believe is perceived as a premium development, offering excellent jobs and communications potential for residents and a high quality of life, with its own village centre and shops, school, playing fields and other recreation facilities.
“The new Medway crossing is, of course, key to its success, offering easy access to the Medway’s west bank and on to London and other important destinations via rail and road.
“When completed, around 2024, Peters Village will mark a dramatic transformation and improvement of a derelict eyesore, a brown field site that once housed the former Peters Lime and Cement Works.”