County News

Update on progress of Evesham Bridge

Please find below this week's update from Worcestershire County Council. The project is currently 'on programme' and there is nothing unusual planned to take place this week such as temporary lights etc.

Viaduct
Excavation and the break down of piles for the new foundations continues. This is element of work is 82% complete; The new reinforced concrete foundations are now 75% completed; Foundations have been backfilled - 63%; Columns completed - 44%; The supporting false work that allows the reinforced concrete beam to be constructed has started to be put in place. The next operation will be to commence fixing the reinforcement of the supporting beam; The demolition of the existing east footpath on the viaduct has been completed.

Bridge
50% of the coring through the existing arches and bridge deck has been completed; The North East abutment demolition is complete and this week the demolition of the south east abutment will be completed; The scaffold erection to access the east arch has began.

Evesham Market Town Partnership Manager

Grants from the County

Worcestershire County Council are giving grants to support the Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) organisations in Worcestershire, whose activities contribute towards identified outcomes for the community.

A flyer has been sent to organisations known to the council team, and is available to view here: Worcestershire Compact Round 11 Grants or you can download it by right-clicking on the link.

Abbey Bridge

Temporary footbridge to increase pace on vital Abbey Bridge replacement

Flooding, snow and prolonged freezing conditions this winter has meant that some elements of the Abbey Bridge and Viaduct replacement work have been delayed. The County Council's contractor, Hochtief, have been working on re-programming the scheme, exploring the options to reduce the impact of the poor weather.

Hochtief have concluded that the erection of temporary pedestrian bridge will allow replacement work to take place on both sides of the Abbey Bridge and Viaduct simultaneously reducing the project delays caused by severe weather this winter.

The new two-metre wide temporary bridge will be installed at the end of April on the east side by crane on Sunday, April 28, ensuring the commitment made to retain pedestrian and cyclist access into and out of the town throughout the scheme is kept. River clearing space of the temporary bridge will be the same as the existing bridge ensuring there will be no impact on planned summer river festivals or traffic.

A temporary closure of Waterside on April 28 - from the Abbey Bridge traffic lights to the hospital access - will be necessary whilst the pedestrian bridge is put in place.

Despite the harsh conditions parts of the project have been progressing but this decision will allow work on both sides of the Abbey Bridge and Viaduct to take place at the same time - increasing the speed of construction whilst maintaining two-way traffic.

A 10-week full closure of the link will still be necessary and this is now planned to start in September.

Peter Blake, Worcestershire County Council's Head of Integrated Transport, said: "The weather has certainly not been kind over this winter period. Flooding, heavy snow and pro-longed sub zero temperatures have caused a delay to parts of the scheduled work to replace the Abbey Bridge and Viaduct.

"Hochtief, our contractor, have for some time looking at what options we have to speed up work. Freezing conditions continuing to bite into April has meant opportunities to accommodate the delays have become more limited, which is why we've taken the decision to install this temporary pedestrian bridge allowing work to take place on both sides of the Abbey Bridge and Viaduct. Everything is being done to keep any disruption to a minimum."

"Clear communication is a key part to ensure the town remains open for business. We're as committed as ever to this however we haven't been in a position to confirm what additional steps would be taken to speed up work and exactly when the 10-week closure period could take place until now.

"Finally, I'd like to ask people to continue to support traders in Evesham whilst this essential replacement work, which is vital in securing the long-term future of the town, continues."

To keep people up to date with what's happening with the Abbey Bridge and Viaduct Replacement scheme a regularly updated dedicated web section can be found at www.worcestershire.gov.uk/abbeybridge, a newsletter (now published monthly) will continue to be sent out in the town, regular Twitter updates through the County Council's account (@worcscc) will continue with the hashtag #abbeybridge and a new public information board situated in Abbey Road (near to the Leisure Centre access) is also available to view.

A package of traffic measures were put in place in February and will remain for the duration of the scheme. These include extensive signage on all major routes, including the A46, into Evesham extending as far back as Junction Six of the M5 to promote alternative routes for motorists, residents and visitors.

A £200,000 initiative to promote the town centre, its attractions and to support local traders and businesses is also continuing. The partnership project between Worcestershire County Council, Wychavon District Council and the Evesham Market Town Partnership, which began last summer, includes an 18-month campaign managed by a local company to showcase and communicate what Evesham has to offer for residents and visitors from further afield, a major discount scheme applying to car-parking charges during the closure period and business support/advice.


Potholes

The County is responsible for keeping our roads in good order, but despite a team of inspectors travelling the highways and byways constantly, they cannot fix problems they don't know about!

Worcestershire County Council is heading down a new communication superhighway with the latest request to residents and businesses across the county to report potholes so they can be repaired more quickly.

Inspired by Torfaen Council in Wales, who utilised YouTube and a Singing Elvis to broadcast their message about gritting and maintaining roads in Winter, Worcestershire Highways are telling the next part of the story in a new video featuring the Highways team's Customer and Community Manager, Jon Fraser.

Worcestershire County Council relies on the support of residents and businesses in reporting potholes, and reporting is easily done via the County Council App, on their website, or by phone. The 'County of Worcestershire' in the banner at the top of this page leads you to the county website, click here for a direct link to the Potholes Page.

You can see how our money is spent, watch the video on YouTube: 'At Work in Highways'


Broadband

Worcestershire County Council and partners are continuing the drive to bring access to Superfast Broadband to Worcestershire. Please be aware that the project has now reached the pre-procurement phase and Broadband providers are being consulted on their existing broadband networks in Worcestershire and if they have any plans to deploy basic (2mbps) or NGA (also known as Superfast broadband with speeds of 30Mbps) in the area over the next three years. This process will confirm the areas in which Worcestershire County Council and partners will be able to provide Broadband infrastructure. Comments from businesses and residents are also welcome. More information about this consultation is available.

Want to make sure you have done all you can to provide evidence of the need for Superfast Broadband in your area?

Follow our 5 steps to make Worcestershire Superfast:

  1. You have received this email as you have registered your demand for your home Broadband use. Thank you - this will be counted and so you won't need to do this again. This provides real evidence to suppliers of the need for Broadband improvements in your area.
  2. Run your own business? Also register your demand for your business address - it only takes a few minutes and business registration is also important.
  3. Get social - tell your friends and family that you know would be happy to receive this and would be interested in Superfast Broadband to also register their demand. You can also join in the #superfastworcs conversation through Twitter or like us on www.facebook.com/broadbandworcs
  4. Could you raise awareness in your community of the need to register demand in your area? Thanks to those who already have done so. Materials are available on our website, or paper copies can be requested.
  5. Become a case study - for either your home Broadband use or your business. This helps us raise awareness of the need to register demand for faster Broadband and the benefits it can bring.

It is becoming increasingly important that we get demand registrations as soon as possible. Can you complete our 5 steps by 8 April 2013? Together we can make Worcestershire Superfast.

Many thanks for your support.
Kind regards,
The Broadband Team