Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Highway Operations, said: “I am pleased that we have appointed Knights Brown as our contractor to carry out the Holmsley bridge replacement scheme.
“We’ve been closely monitoring the condition of this bridge since it became the County Council’s responsibility in 2012. The current steel structure was built in 1908 but has now deteriorated to the point where full replacement is the only viable cost-effective option. In 2020 the speed limit on the A35 was temporarily reduced, temporary safety barriers were installed, and additional steel supports placed under the bridge.”
“The new single span concrete bridge will minimise future maintenance costs and, as part of the scheme, a 380m section of the A35 carriageway will be realigned and resurfaced with improved surface water drainage. This will ensure safer travel on this key route through the New Forest.
“We have been working closely and extensively with the New Forest National Park Authority, Verderers, Natural England and Forestry England throughout to make sure that this scheme is carried out sensitively in this unique part of Hampshire.
“Local Councillors, nearby residents, and local businesses have been contacted as part of the scheme development and this will continue during the construction phases. I would like to emphasise that the Old Station Tea Rooms will be open for business as usual.”
The site compound is due to be set up in mid-August at the Osmonds Bushes car park with the main works starting in September and every effort will be made to minimise disruption over the busier summer tourist period. Where temporary road closures become necessary, signed diversion routes will be in place.
The new bridge will be built alongside the existing structure, and then traffic will be transferred over onto it. The old steel bridge will then be removed.
Works are due to be completed by summer 2022.
For more information visit the scheme web pages: https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/transportschemes/holmsley-rail-bridge-replacement