'Ministers' approve Medway's new bridge
Source: Steve Loader
An all-new bridge over the River Medway has received full parliamentary approval after a visit by four ‘ministers’.
The VIPs were members of the school parliament at Wouldham, the village neighbouring the new bridge, which is the key element in the all-new 1,000-home Peters Village community being developed by Trenport.
The infrastructure, including the bridge, represents an investment of £50 million by Trenport assisted by funding from the Government's Homes and Communities Agency, and this has transformed the derelict brown field site of the former Peters Lime and Cement Works.
The revival has been keenly followed by pupils at Wouldham All Saints CofE Primary School, leading to an invitation by Trenport for pupil representatives to be the first village residents to visit the bridge construction site itself.
The youngsters, Dolcie Bond, Harry Banks, Daniel Kemp and Finlay Ingle were accompanied by school head, Carl Fitter and hosted by Project Manager Rex Burgess of Bam Nuttall – Trenport’s site contractor for the Peters Village infrastructure works.
After donning hard hats and suitably sized workwear – photo opportunity favourites for any minister or MP’s site visit - the school party was given a presentation on the project by Mr Burgess.
This was followed by a questions and answers session including: 'how do you know that the bridge is strong enough to carry really heavy lorries?'; 'do you have to go underwater to build?' – Mr Burgess then explained how temporary coffer dams were built to hold back the river waters while constructing the two riverbed supports for the bridge; and 'what is a civil engineer?'.
They also heard confirmation that the new bridge will open in late summer, linking the east and west banks at that point in the Medway for the first time in some 70 years, since the Army erected a temporary Bailey Bridge during World War II.
Trenport Director Chris Hall said: “We were only too delighted to extend this invitation to Wouldham school, which has followed the project with such interest and shone in the local inter-schools arts competition we staged last year themed on the site’s various histories, and will no doubt hope to repeat that in this year’s contest.”
Parliamentary party (left to right): Wouldham head teacher Carl Fitter, Dolcie Bond, Daniel Kemp, Finlay Ingle, Harry Banks, and Bam Nuttall’s Rex Burgess