Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment said: “By negotiating with Network Rail as they plan their works, we have ensured Millway bridge remains safe and fit for purpose for the traffic it carries. Without a contribution from Hampshire County Council, Network Rail will strengthen the bridge only to their legal obligation of 24 tonnes and this could mean restrictions will need to be introduced on the road above. This could involve a weight restriction, physical road narrowing, traffic lights or a combination of all the above.”
Councillor Humby approved to spend £407,000 from the Structural Maintenance budget to enable the bridge to be brought up to 40 tonne capacity, contributing to Network Rail’s £2.96 million refurbishment of it.
Millway Bridge carries the C13 Millway Road over five non-electrified tracks of the Basingstoke to Salisbury line (BAE1) and the Ludgershall Branch line approximately 250 metres southwest of Andover Station.
Structural assessments by both Network Rail and Hampshire County Council have identified that the bridge is weak and does not reach the 40 tonne assessment live loading requirement for highways. Whilst Network Rail have been undertaking feasibility options for strengthening the bridge, they have introduced an enhanced inspection regime for the bridge and this will continue until strengthening work is completed.