Essex Highways, Safer, Greener, Healthier
× Boxted Bridge temporary closure to support investigations
01/06/2021
Advance Notice

From Monday 5th to 9th July 2021 coring investigations will be conducted at Boxted Bridge on Wick Road to establish the extent of the existing foundations of the abutments.  These findings will support any future plans for the bridge.

During this time it will be necessary to temporarily close Wick Road at Boxted Bridge 24 hours a day until the works are complete due to the restricted working area.  

No vehicles will be permitted to pass over the structure until the works are complete and the road is reopened. 

Signed diversions will be in place during the closure and nearby residential properties will remain accessible from either side of the structure. 

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Boxted Bridge, Wick Road, Boxted, Colchester  

Works location and photos

Boxted Bridge and Wick Road
Boxted Bridge and River Stour
Cracks on north abutment
Corrosion on girders
Corrosion and deflection of plates on girders

The current position

Boxted Bridge (ECC No. 0059) was built in 1897 and is located on Wick Road/Lower Farm Road near the junction of Sky Hall Hill in Boxted on the Essex/Suffolk border where it crosses the River Stour.  The bridge currently carries two way traffic.

In 2018 a Principal Inspection identified that the bridge was displaying signs of distress including corrosion, delamination, deformation and cracking.   The bridge is nearing the end of its natural lifespan.

The possibility of repairing the current structure was explored during an Option Study which has determined that the structural form of the bridge, as well as its current condition are prohibitive factors to undertaking effective structural repairs without replacing the structure as a whole.  The Option Study outlines other measures considered for managing the crossing point, as well as identifying possible improvements to resolve the existing road alignment and visibility constraints at the junction. Further details are explained in our Questions and Answers in the Document section below.

The current preferred Option (Option 7B) is to replace the existing structure on a slightly widened footprint to allow for the safe movement of fire engine vehicles at the junction.  Our studies indicate that vehicles, such as a refuse vehicles and fire engines cannot safely manoeuvre at the junction, and has contributed to a number of vehicle strikes at the bridge and to nearby private property.

Computer generated artist impression of proposed bridge.

We anticipate the design of a future bridge would be visually similar to the current bridge and sympathetic to the area, recognising that this is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as illustrated by the computer generated artist impression.

Investigation works support new bridge design

Ground investigations and trial holes works were completed during November 2020. These works were successfully carried out in two weeks with the support of archaeological supervision and advice of external specialists including geotechnical consultants and building surveyors prior to commencing works.

The results of the ground surveys will inform our future design and foundations options for a replacement bridge. They will help us finalise the structural considerations for the proposed option and help us understand possible improvements to resolve the existing road alignment and visibility constraints at the junction when creating a future bridge design.

While we continue to take this work forward we do envisage that a new bridge design will look visually similar to the existing bridge as can be seen in in the computer-generated artist impression above.

The bridge is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and as such we are designing a replacement bridge to be as similar as possible to the existing bridge with as minimal change as possible to the aesthetics of the area.

Further information

We are in the early design stage however it is our full intention to keep the community informed as the project develops, updating this webpage as well as engaging with the local parish council.

Additional inforrmation is included in our Summary of considerations to date, as well as Questions and Answers detailed in the Document section below.

Should you have a question directly related to Boxted Bridge which has not already been answered on this page you may wish to contact the project team directly by email: boxtedenquiries@essexhighways.org.