Repair of Unstead and Unstead New Cut Bridges in Shalford

Coronavirus: how the outbreak is affecting our roadworks and maintenance

Surrey County Council is resuming its essential roadworks programme to help keep routes open and safe for key workers during the coronavirus restrictions. More information and updates can be found on our roadworks coronavirus page.

COVID-19 update

The Government and Department for Transport have asked the Highway Sector Council to make every effort to deliver essential highways projects on all local authority highway networks, whilst abiding by the COVID-19 safe working practices. We are therefore carrying out these works in line with central government and COVID-19 safe working practises and in accordance with the CLC Site Operating Procedures, endorsed by Public Health England.

Our sub-contractor will have appropriate procedures in place to ensure their staff can comply with government advice. We would ask that you please respect these workers as they deliver these highways services.

This scheme will remain in constant review in line with UK Government advice.

To ensure the safety of the public and the workforce we would ask that you please do not approach the team on site. Instead, please use our contact us page to get in touch.

Works recommenced on 11 May 2020. Due to delays caused by Coronavirus restrictions and changes to the design of this scheme, the duration has been extended. Works are expected to be complete in November 2020.

This work will be undertaken with government guidelines in place and safe operating processes for both staff and the general public

What does the scheme involve?

This scheme combines works at both Unstead Bridge and Unstead New Cut Bridge in Shalford. Both structures are in close proximity to each other, therefore the works will be co-ordinated. Unstead Bridge is located on Tiltham's Corner Road immediately west of the junction with Unstead Lane, and Unstead New Cut Bridge is located approximately 50m west of Unstead Bridge.

Tilthams Corner Road will be closed 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the full 34 week duration of this work (initially, pre-COVID 18 weeks). Due to the narrow width of the road we do not have sufficient space to maintain traffic or pedestrian access safely, so a hard closure is necessary during this work.

Unstead Bridge:

The proposed works involve raising the stone walls to accommodate the installation of a reinforced concrete beam behind the existing kerb lines. A single height granite kerb unit will be installed behind the existing kerbs. The new kerb line will have a reinforced backing which will provide greater vehicle containment across the structure and a greater 'visual barrier' on approach to the bridge.

The stone walls will be locally raised to match the level of the raised kerbs. This will be achieved with Bargate Stone to match the existing walls. The existing parapets will be replaced with fabricated steel replicas to closely match the originals in visual appearance.

The use of Bargate stone and lime mortar requires temperatures to be 5 degrees C and rising. The encapsulation of the bridge was necessary to maintain the temperature as well as to protect the stonework/lime mortar from rain, frost and wind. It is also important the lime mortar does not dry out too quickly either, therefore needs protection from hot weather.

One of the aims of the refurbishment works is to reduce the risk of future damage, however we have to work within the constraints of listed building consent for an 800-year-old structure and unfortunately this has meant adapting the proposed design during construction. This has required additional surveying, drawing revisions and removal of additional material from the bridge. The extra demolition works are now completed, and you should see a reduction in noise levels.

Adapting the proposed design, combined with delays caused by COVID-19 have unfortunately caused delays with this scheme, we understand and appreciate the closure has caused inconvenience to the area and we are doing all we can to try and complete the works efficiently and effectively within the current challenging climate.

Unstead New Cut:

Works to Unstead New Cut Bridge are now complete. The existing bridge parapet has been replaced like for like with a new one.

How long will the works take?

The scheme will require specialist and skilled contractors to repair the stone work. We have strict conditions set under listed building consent which need to be adhered to. We initially anticipated the duration of this scheme to be approximately 18 weeks, however due to COVID-19 the overall scheme has suffered delays. The scheme length has changed from 18 weeks to approximately 34 weeks since works started in February.

We are also required to implement COVID-19 safe working practices on site and adherence to social distancing where possible which has inevitably had an effect on efficiency.

Will the road be closed during the scheme?

Yes. We will need to have Tilthams Corner Road closed for the duration of the scheme. The road is very narrow and we do not have sufficient space to safely maintain traffic or pedestrian access. In addition, as the area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which is managed by Natural England we are unable to erect scaffolding on the land. We are building a scaffold from the road side, up and over the structure.

Will there be pedestrian access?

There will be no pedestrian access between the two bridges due to the nature of the scaffolding arrangement.

What permits are required for the scheme?

Permits have been obtained from:

  • the Environment Agency for Unstead Newcut Bridge only (Flood risk Permit),
  • Natural England (as the area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
  • Waverley Borough Planning – Listed Building Consent for Unstead Bridge.

What will the diversion be for vehicles?

Access for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians will be maintained at all times via Trunley Heath Lane, Horsham Road, Bridleway 580, (Unstead Wood Footbridge canal path), Broadford Road, Old Portsmouth Road and Tilthams Corner Road.

Access for emergency vehicles, local residences and businesses will be maintained at all times via Trunley Heath Lane, Horsham Road, Broadford Road, Old Portsmouth Road and Tilthams Corner Road.

Maps of these diversions routes will be published on our website when works are underway.

Will there be advanced warning notices and letters sent out in advance of the work?

We will send letters out in advance of works starting. Advanced warning signs will be displayed and the temporary closure will only operate when the relevant traffic signs are displayed.