Problems continue as bridge saga rumbles on

HOLIDAY SHUTDOWN: The scene at Abbey Bridge, Evesham, earlier this week. Pictures by Paul Jackson. 5213486515

HOLIDAY SHUTDOWN: The scene at Abbey Bridge, Evesham, earlier this week. Pictures by Paul Jackson. 5213486515

First published in News

EVESHAM residents have been left facing more disruption as the ill-fated Abbey Bridge project encounters more problems.

They were told at the start of December that the rebuilding project, initially planned for completion by November, wouldn’t be finished until at least the new year. But over a few days over Christmas, a temporary on-site pedestrian footbridge had to be closed to the public for five days due to vandalism.

Contractors Hochtief carried out repairs allowing the footbridge to reopen on Boxing Day.

“The temporary pedestrian footbridge was closed between December 21 and 25 while it was being repaired following an incident of vandalism,”

said a spokesman for Worcestershire County Council.

“Hochtief arranged for their contractors to undertake repairs and the footbridge was opened as soon as it was safe to do so.”

Last week, the Evesham Journal reported that work on the bridge had stopped, and was unlikely to resume before the new year.

Concerned residents contacted the paper after noticing Hochtief workers were not at the site.

A spokesman for the company put it down to the industry shutdown over the holiday period and it was unlikely any work would take place on the bridge before 2014.

Then, the project was hit by rumours in the town that the company was having problems, a claim strongly denied by Hochtief.

The latest delay to the scheme caused outrage on the Evesham Journal website.

A commenter named Saucerer said: “What an utter shambles from our pathetic highways department.

Hochtief may be the contractor, but it seems clear that they were not project managed correctly or closely by the council’s highway engineers.”

The bridge was due to reopen in November after a 10-week closure, but after several delays, a date for the main route into the town centre to reopen has not yet been announced.

Meanwhile, a scheme offering half-price bus fares on all services in and out of Evesham town centre, which has been operating since September, has been extended and will remain in place until the Abbey Bridge and viaduct re-opens.

Comments (1)

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2:04am Thu 9 Jan 14

markjohns says...

I don't know about a review about the bridge, but we need a review of the council decision process that produced a contract to build a bridge that had a meaningless penalty for the bridge not being finished on time leaving the bridge builders an easy decision on whether to pay overtime to finish the bridge on time or not, the end result is the bridge has not been finessed on time, shops in the town are paying a steep price and ultimately the locals of Evesham having to endure another nail in the coffin caused by thinking joined up by fresh air and no common sense, first they pedestrianized bridge street, that was the first cull on the shops, despite the effect that had on shops 15 year later they did it again they reworked the high street and that culled more shops, now they have done it again, attempted something completely out of their league and culled more shops and businesses, parking 20p that's a joke it should be free anyway and this latest gesture by extending the bus concession only make things worse for the Evesham shops, because it is encouraging folks to try new places to shop, in a time they desperately would like to see locals shopping in their shops just to survive, and as I understand all of this could of been avoided if the council had asked the army at Ashchurch for temporary bridging that is coming back from Afghanistan that is being scrapped to be used as a temporary bridging solution while this work was carried out for free and they would of then scrapped it after, the army would of built it up in a couple of days not the years that this dynamic disasters is taking.
I don't know about a review about the bridge, but we need a review of the council decision process that produced a contract to build a bridge that had a meaningless penalty for the bridge not being finished on time leaving the bridge builders an easy decision on whether to pay overtime to finish the bridge on time or not, the end result is the bridge has not been finessed on time, shops in the town are paying a steep price and ultimately the locals of Evesham having to endure another nail in the coffin caused by thinking joined up by fresh air and no common sense, first they pedestrianized bridge street, that was the first cull on the shops, despite the effect that had on shops 15 year later they did it again they reworked the high street and that culled more shops, now they have done it again, attempted something completely out of their league and culled more shops and businesses, parking 20p that's a joke it should be free anyway and this latest gesture by extending the bus concession only make things worse for the Evesham shops, because it is encouraging folks to try new places to shop, in a time they desperately would like to see locals shopping in their shops just to survive, and as I understand all of this could of been avoided if the council had asked the army at Ashchurch for temporary bridging that is coming back from Afghanistan that is being scrapped to be used as a temporary bridging solution while this work was carried out for free and they would of then scrapped it after, the army would of built it up in a couple of days not the years that this dynamic disasters is taking. markjohns
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