Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, explained: “The Redbridge Causeway, over the A35 in Totton, is a key route leading to the Port of Southampton and, therefore, a significant trade gateway for the UK.
“It carries significant tourist traffic to the New Forest National Park, is a vital link to the industrial areas of Fawley oil refinery, and is the only major non-motorway crossing of the River Test - linking Southampton to the residential areas on the Waterside.”
Redbridge Causeway is made up of four concrete bridges, built between 1930 and 1966 and have been eroded by their marine location, and are in urgent need of repair if weight restrictions are to be avoided. The County Council will begin work shortly, to prevent water ingress, repair failing concrete, and increase durability.
Councillor Humby continued: “It goes without saying that doing nothing is not an option here. It’s imperative the bridges are repaired urgently, to avoid lane closures or restrictions on heavy goods vehicles. We’re disappointed that the Government has not yet agreed to fund this vital repair scheme, despite two separate bids for funding - so we’re doing what we can to ensure a vital part of transport infrastructure remains in operation, by redirecting funds and scheduling the work in phases.”
The four causeway bridges are all in need of repair at an estimated cost of £20million. Hampshire County Council investigations show that Redbridge Viaduct is the bridge in need of the earliest attention. The County Council has committed £2million for immediate repairs to the reinforced concrete supports to stop leaks through the bridge expansion joints.
Weather permitting, work will begin take place over two weekends, 4 – 6 November and 11- 13 November, and then in February and March 2018:
• A35 Westbound closed at 8pm on Saturday 4 November, to 5am on Monday 6 November
• A35 Westbound closed at 8pm on Saturday 11 November, to 5am on Monday 13 November
The County Council is also taking the opportunity to re-surface sections of carriageway up to Rushington Roundabout while the closure of the westbound carriageway is in place. Other works will include jetting and cleansing of drainage, safety fence repairs, sign cleaning, litter-picking and vegetation clearance.