A major engineering scheme by Island Roads to stabilise Duver Road Bridge in St Helens is due to begin next month.
Work on the project, part of 18 separate geotechnical schemes under the Highways PFI, will begin mid-November with the aim of securing the long term use of the bridge and adjoining carriageway which serves the popular attraction of the Duver as well as several local businesses.
The project is required as, over time, the original piling beneath the bridge has deteriorated and some of the earth underneath it has also been removed by natural processes leaving sections of the bridge structure exposed and consequently less stable.
The works will involve 45 piles being driven eleven metres into the ground at regularly spaced intervals and the current void beneath the road will also be filled.
At the same time, the footpath alongside the road will be rebuilt and a new post and rail timber fence will be installed which will improve both the safety and the overall appearance of the road which sits adjacent to National Trust land.
Due to the nature of the work, the road will need to be closed for up to six weeks and a diversion will be in place for vehicles through Nodes Point caravan park down to the Duver car park entrance. The local community has been consulted about the necessary closure.
In order to assist the local community and prevent a further road closure, surfacing works to other sections of the road have been brought forward and improvements to the drainage will also be completed at the same time.
Kieron Blamey, Geotechnical Project Manager said, “These are essential works which will enable us to stabilise this section of the highway so that it can continue to be used by the local community. We have worked with local residents, businesses, parish councillors, National Trust and other services to ensure that we undertake these works during the winter when they will cause the least inconvenience.
“We are also bringing forward surfacing work further along this road, together with drainage improvement work so that we can avoid closing the road again at a later date for these works.
“We are very grateful for the understanding we have received from the local community and the owners of Nodes Point and will continue to keep them informed as this scheme develops.”
Councillor Phil Jordan, Executive Member with responsibilities for the PFI said, “I welcome the fact that this work is being done outside of the holiday season and I am pleased to see the level of consultation and dialogue that is being maintained with the local community. I have visited the site myself recently and seen first-hand the work that is required, especially to the bridge itself, and I am looking forward to seeing the end results when the scheme is completed in the near future. The works will secure the ongoing access to an area that provides both local amenity and a tourist destination as well as supporting access for the Harbour Office, Hovertravel and many other important businesses situated around the St Helens Duver.