New rail bridge for rural Staffordshire

A road bridge over the busy west coast main railway line is to be strengthened to bring it up to modern day standards and keep it in use for years to come.

Network Rail has appointed contractors Barhale Construction to carry out the work to the bridge, which is close to Izaak Walton’s Cottage on Worston Lane in Shallowford.

Jo Kaye, Network Rail’s route director, said: “This is a relatively lightly used road but it passes over what is probably the busiest railway line in the country. Britain relies on that railway line and the local community relies on the use of the road, so it is essential that we carry out this work for everyone’s benefit.”

The work will involve removing the road surface to expose the concrete bridge deck beneath. This will also be broken up so engineers can replace the steel deck plates below. The bridge will then be waterproofed before a new concrete deck is poured and the roadway reinstated.

The £473,000 project was due to start in early September but has been put back by a few weeks after requests from several farmers in the area.

Now due to start on Monday 20 September, work could take until the New Year to complete but Network Rail will do its best to finish the job before Christmas.

The road over the bridge is narrow and its width has already been narrowed further to protect the bridge parapets. Traffic is controlled by temporary lights. While the work is going on, the road will have to be closed completely and a diversionary route via the A5013 Stafford Road has been agreed with the council.

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