Tunbridge, Garnier Road – essential bridge replacement works

Last update: June 2024

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Garnier Road in Winchester has reopened to all traffic following a £1.4 million scheme by Hampshire County Council to replace Tunbridge – a bridge that spans the Itchen Navigation. The road has remained open to pedestrians and cyclists whilst construction of the new bridge was underway with other vehicles diverted.

The new bridge provides a structure that has a lifespan of 120 years and which meets modern traffic carrying standards.

This was a complex engineering challenge. With the main element of the project now finished, our team will remain on site for a short while longer finalising other elements of the scheme such as improving the footpaths.

Tunbridge, Garnier Road

Scheme overview

Work began in March 2023 on this essential upgrade of the 100-year-old Tunbridge which was showing visible signs of age and deterioration. The road and top section of the bridge have now been replaced.

The area, including the Itchen Navigation, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a popular gateway to the South Downs National Park. Therefore, the scheme has been developed with careful consideration of its ecologically sensitive location. The new bridge features a red brick exterior to complement the picturesque surroundings. A package of ecological measures has also been added to safeguard wildlife such as bat roosts and swallow nest cups. New safety fencing has also been provided alongside a new highway drainage system to reduce the risk of flooding on Garnier Road.

Ecological and environmental considerations

During the development of this scheme Hampshire County Council completed assessments of the site and detailed ecological surveys. The plans were developed following liaison with the Environment Agency, Natural England, Winchester College and Winchester City Council.

The bridge and surrounding area are important for many wildlife species and ecological safety measures have been implemented to minimise the impact of the works.

Measures include:

  • Maintaining an open channel in the river beneath the bridge for the salmon smolting season (the process that marks the beginning of their first migration from their home stream to the ocean)
  • The installation of bat boxes prior to the work and the provision of bat roosts on the reconstructed bridge
  • The installation of swallow nest cups on the bridge
  • The planting of trees on completion of the work at a site nearby
  • The demolition and reconstruction of the bridge deck has been phased to avoid the need to install temporary river crossing structures in the adjacent areas of Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Contact us
Universal Services
Hampshire County Council
The Castle

SO23 8UD