A major scheme to strengthen a bridge that supports the main road on the approach to Godshill is to begin later this month.
The work to Bow Bridge will ensure the busy A3020 Newport Road can continue to carry all traffic. Without strengthening, a 7.5 tonne restriction would be required meaning the road could not be used by vehicles over that weight – essentially, nothing larger than a Transit-sized van.
The project will involve digging the road out over the bridge to reveal the top of the masonry arch, waterproofing the stonework and then backfilling the void with concrete. This will provide greater support than the current clay-rich soil. Lastly, the highway surface will be reinstated.
Because of the busy nature of the A3020, the work is being scheduled for a time of the year well outside the holiday season. It will however be necessary to close the road to all traffic for a planned three-week period beginning on January 27.
Ian Hodson, Island Roads structures manager, said: “Because of the narrow width of this listed bridge it is unfortunately not feasible to undertake the work in phases by closing one lane at a time as we were able to at School Green Road bridge in Freshwater recently.
“A full road closure will therefore be necessary, but we have scheduled the work for what is the quietest time of the year in order to minimise disruption.
“While the planned works are for three weeks, which will allow the road to be re-opened before the February half-term break, we will be applying for a four-week closure to provide a week’s contingency in case of bad weather or other unforeseen problems.”
During the closure, the diversion route will be from Whiteley Bank via Canteen Road, Apse Heath and Arreton to Blackwater. It is proposed to have on-street parking restrictions on Ventnor Road, Apse Heath, to prevent traffic backing up to the Apse Heath roundabout.
Businesses in Godshill and Rookley will shortly receive a letter explaining more about the work.
The scheme is part of the Island’s Highway Improvement Programme which is finance in the main through a grant of £477 million awarded by the Department of Transport.