Boxhill and Burford Bridge weight restriction in Westhumble, Dorking

Update 23 July - works completed

Our works to resurface the road and install new bollards has now been completed. In the coming days, the team will remove the site compound and sweep the road to remove excess stones. We would like to thank you for your patience while we completed these safety critical works.

Previous updates

Update 21 July

Due to the high temperatures this week there have been some delays in laying the new anti skid surface as it requires a specific temperature window to be applied successfully.

The road was reopened this morning (21 July) and will be closed again this afternoon to allow bollards to be installed. The team expect to undertake the anti skid surfacing overnight tonight (21 July) and tomorrow night (22 July) when the temperatures are cooler. The team will aim to open the road during the day on Thursday if it is safe to do. The road will then be closed again on Friday while lining works are completed.

Update 13 July

The works will continue on Monday 19 July, the road will be closed 24 hours a day for five days whilst we carry out these works.

We will be laying an antiskid surface on the road which requires time to set on the road. This means the road will remain closed whilst the surface is setting with no other works taking place. We will also be installing bollards and completing lining works.

Update 5 July

The road was reopened on Friday 2 July. The site has been left with some cones and barriers whilst we wait for the bollards to be delivered.

It was decided to open the road whilst we waited for the bollards. We will need to return to install and for anti skid surfacing over one to two days.

Update 28 June

What we have done so far?

  • Site set up with welfare and temporary pedestrian walkway
  • Removed surfacing material from the bridge and approaches
  • Investigated location and depth of services
  • Installed new width restriction islands
  • Vegetation removed from approach to bridge to improve visibility
  • Commenced installation of new signage

What we are doing week commencing 28 June?

  • Remove material from over the bridge to reduce weight further
  • Complete signing works
  • Surface the road

Programme progress

We are ahead of schedule for our current programme.

We are looking at potentially opening the road using some temporary traffic management measures whilst we await delivery of the new bollards. We do not have a date for this yet and can not commit to one due to weather and any factors that may affect the works.

If we do reopen earlier they scheduled then we will need to reattend and close the road for one to two days to install the bollards. We will also take the opportunity to install an anti-skid surface, after which the new lining can be completed.


What are we doing?

We are installing width restriction barriers on this road. These are required due to the high risks associated with heavier vehicles ignoring signing or cameras, with enforcement and penalties only issued after the event.

We have been in touch with fire and rescue as their vehicles are to heavy and will have to use an alternative route. Vehicles above 7.5 tonne weight should not be crossing the bridge currently with the new width restriction necessary to prevent people not conforming to the traffic order – the new road layout does allow the current 7.5 tonne weight limit to be maintained.

We are working closely with the contractor to minimise the length of the disruption. The works being undertaken are as follows:

  • Site set-up
  • Remove existing surfacing material on bridge and approaches
  • Address any soft areas of underlying material
  • Repair any damage to the existing concrete bridge (extent not known until the surfacing is removed)
  • Install new kerbing
  • Apply sprayed waterproofing seal to bridge
  • Resurface approaches and bridge
  • Install new warning signs and clear obstructing vegetation
  • Install new width restriction islands and bollards
  • Apply new road lining

Why are we carrying out works?

Following an assessment by Network Rail last year the bridge adjacent to Boxhill and Westhumble Railway Station on Westhumble Street has failed a weight capacity review and now has been assessed for highway loading of 7.5 tonne.

In collaboration with Network Rail, we have prepared an urgent safety proposal for a temporary road layout and signing scheme which requires the carriageway to be reduced to single lane with a width constraint of 6 foot 6.

The new highway layout restrictions will enable the current weight limit of 7.5 tonne to be permissible while the permanent Network Rail project is prepared.

Unfortunately the short term measures are necessary for public safety to ensure the road can remain open while Network Rail programme the long term strengthening scheme, which is expected to be delivered by March 2023.

Frequently asked questions

Why do you have to do this work now?

Following the load assessment carried out by Network Rail the bridge is currently not safe for the 7.5 tonne loading capacity. Delaying the proposed scheme, with the planned reduction of the existing carriageway depth, would mean the bridge being imminently closed or a strict 3 tonne weight limit imposed with associated width restriction for public safety.

Why is the road being closed for five weeks?

The main reason for the length of closure is due to the need to reduce the carriageway surfacing to remove weight from the bridge deck so that the existing 7.5 tonne weight restriction can be maintained. We also need to waterproof the bridge so that water ingress is prevented from further damaging the structure.

The width of the carriageway over the bridge is too small (4.5 metres) for any other traffic management as it does not provide enough space for our teams to work safely. We need to provide a minimum 2.5m width for cars, a safety zone and enough space to work which is not feasible in the remaining 2 metres. Moreover, as the bridge requires waterproofing, we have to excavate the full width, length and approaches to the bridge.

Can you not put any other measures in place?

No. to ensure the weight limit is maintained we have to install bollards restricting the width and therefore the weight of vehicles.

Have the emergency services been told?

Yes, we contact all emergency services before any of our works start. We have also been in consultation with the ambulance service and have agreed in principle for the bollard and island formation to be able to accommodate the widest ambulance Surrey use. The current kerbing detailed will be set at two metres with the bollard width set at 2.4 metres as the wing mirrors will be above the height of bollards.

Why was this diversion route chosen?

We assess the available routes before designating the official diversion route. Both available options included single track roads and the chosen route is the shortest of the two. We will only encourage travel on this official diversion route and will put up signs to indicate this recommended route of travel.

Fairfield, Chapel Ln, Westhumble, Dorking RH5 6AH

8.2 km. About 18 mins (18 mins in current traffic)

  1. Head south-west on Chapel Ln towards Pilgrims Way (1.3 km)
  2. Turn left onto Ranmore Common Rd (1.7 km)
  3. Turn right onto N Downs Way (0.8 km)
  4. Turn left onto Ranmore Rd (1.8 km)
  5. Turn left onto Ashcombe Rd (0.1 km)
  6. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Ashcombe Rd/A2003 (0.8 km)
  7. Turn left onto London Rd/A24 (0.5 km)
  8. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on London Rd/A24 (0.9 km)
  9. Turn left onto Westhumble St. Destination will be on the left (0.4 km)

Cleveland Court, Westhumble St, Westhumble, Dorking RH5 6AF, UK

The reverse route applies.

Any changes to the diversion route will be indicated on the Roadworks map

Will pedestrians and cyclists still have access during the closure?

Yes pedestrian access, wheelchairs, buggy's and dismounted cyclists access will be maintained at all times and will still be able to cross structure during closure.

Why can't the bridge be strengthened?

While the bridge was known to be weak the existing 7.5 tonne traffic order meant that the structure was not the highest priority for Network Rail. Following deterioration of the bridge deck condition the engineers reassessment concluded that the bridge is weaker and the works have been accelerated as a result. This project has been organised as an interim measure to ensure Network Rail prioritise the permanent works as a matter of urgency.

Was a consultation held?

These works are to ensure the safety of the National Rail owned bridge and therefore do not require a consultation. In order to keep the bridge open and at the current weight restriction we need to reduce the weight of surfacing material on the bridge.

If we don't do this work, National Rail may be put in a position where the bridge is closed permanently until they complete significant refurbishment/replacement of the bridge. This safety proposal enables the bridge to remain open whilst Network Rail plan and programme the larger strengthening scheme.