No community likes the disruption of road works, but they are an inevitability if our infrastructure is to be safely maintained.
To minimise disruption, the Rochester Bridge Trust carries out all its works one lane at a time on its bridge, preferably overnight but at the very least during off peak times. However, recently – for the first time in decades – the Trust decided to schedule a continuous full closure of one of its two road bridges, for a full weekend.
The works were part of the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project, with this particular element being the full resurfacing of the New Bridge’s two-lane roadway, which takes road traffic from Strood to Rochester, two interconnected towns located either side of the set of bridges over the River Medway.
While it is possible to resurface the bridge one lane at a time, this increases the likelihood of potholes developing – and the necessary disruption to repair them – so a programme was drawn up to create one continuous surface across both lanes.
Lead contractor FM Conway used two Blaw Knox machines side by side, removing the need for a cold joint and reducing the risk of water ingress and premature deterioration or failure of the bituminous layer.
The idea was that short-term pain – softened by a lot of community engagement – would create a long-term gain in the reduction of future disruption.
The bridge closure began at 6pm on Friday, with the crossing re-opening ahead of schedule at 5.10am on Monday. We’re pleased to report members of the public have been largely positive in their comments.
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