VolkerFitzpatrick has been appointed to design and build a much-needed highway crossing over a rail line in Surrey on behalf of Guildford Borough Council.
The £19m Ash Road Bridge project will allow the closure of a level crossing on the A323 Guildford Road that has been assessed by Network Rail as posing a safety risk. Construction of the new bridge and retiring of the level crossing is in preparation for “enhanced rail use on the North Downs line”.
The new bridge will also reduce congestion in the area and unlock housing development outlined in the local plan. The scheme has therefore been able to benefit from a substantial Housing Infrastructure Fund grant secured from the government.
Currently, the Ash Level Crossing is closed for up to 25 minutes out of every hour, leading to significant traffic delays which are likely to get worse once more frequent services are introduced along the train line. Other stated benefits to the bridge include safer crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.
As well as the construction of a new bridge, VolkerFitzpatrick will be delivering new approach roads, new junctions and altering existing roads to connect to the bridge. The installation of street lighting, landscaping, fencing, drainage and ponds will also be included in the project.
Deon Scholtz, Divisional Director - Infrastructure, VolkerFitzpatrick, said: "We are delighted to have been appointed by Guildford Borough Council to deliver the Ash Road Bridge project. Our regional approach will allow us to deliver our in-house bridge and highways expertise in a way which most benefits the communities in which we work."
Deputy Leader and Lead Councillor for Regeneration, Cllr Tom Hunt, said: "I am pleased to say that work on the Ash Road Bridge project started on site in late July and will take approximately 75 weeks.
"The Ash Road Bridge project will support new housing in the area and improve safety for road and rail users. It will also significantly reduce traffic congestion on the A323, help to improve air quality and rat-running."
VolkerFitzpatrick will provide employment opportunities over the course of the project. As well as working with supply chain contractors from the surrounding area, they will engage with local educational establishments and provide a number of apprenticeship placements.
Site preparation and pre-construction began at the end of July and is due for completion in early 2025.
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