The current position
Finchingfield Bridge carries the B1053 over the village pond. It is an old bridge, approximately 200 years old in a deteriorating condition that needs to be dismantled and rebuilt.
Following some initial proposals shared by Essex Highways in 2016, new design options have been explored in discussion with Finchingfield Parish Council, Braintree District Councillors and County Members.
Together, we aim to deliver a scheme that safeguards the bridge crossing for the future as well as protecting iconic views of the village. Key stakeholder groups will be invited to engage with us to help build plans to ensure that, if works go ahead, disruption is minimised.
Any scheme proposal will be subject to developing a detailed works programme, and to meeting the usual planning consents and other legal obligations.
The Parish Council and District and County Councillors agreed that Essex Highways should start the necessary site investigations in order for a replacement bridge to be built. These site surveys were carried out in February 2019 to inform future detailed design work to progress a future scheme.
Our future intention is to dismantle the existing structure and replace the bridge with one built in the same location with a very similar look to the existing bridge.
It is proposed the current width between the bridge walls will be maintained between new kerbs and a narrow hardened verge to offer some protection to the bridge parapets. These proposals will lead to a bridge that will be up to 1.5 metres wider overall, but maintaining the same road width, so that the bridge continues to act as a traffic calming feature.
There are no plans to include a footway as part of the scheme.
On site investigations completed February 2019
Structures engineers successfully completed investigation works during a five day closure of Finchingfield Bridge during the February school holiday to provide additional important data to enable us to progress a new bridge design.
Trial hole investigations completed October 2019
Trial hole investigations were carried out in late October 2019 to determine the precise location and depth of utility services in and around Finchingfield's village green. The purpose of the works was to support investigations into the feasibility of installing a temporary bridge for future reconstruction work at Finchingfield Bridge.
Essential bridge repairs planned for August 2020
Preparations are currently being made to enable us to carry out essential repairs to Finchingfield Bridge this summer.
The works are expected to take 11 days to complete with the support of a full road closure (closed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) from Monday 17 August to Thursday 27 August 2020.
During this time we will carry out works to the parapets on the structure including reconstruction of the northern parapet and complete additional investigation work to assist with the design of a new structure. This is an interim measure, intended to preserve the bridge’s continued safe use. Discussions between Essex Highways and Finchingfield Parish Council are ongoing in relation to any future bridge replacement works.
We are currently in discussion with the Essex County Council Passenger Transport team to understand what alternative bus services will be put into place during the road closure.
As more details become available to support these temporary works, further information will be shared on this webpage, with the parish council, local residents, businesses and the wider community.
To check other works in the area you can also visit one.network
Our intention is to keep the community informed of progress as the scheme progresses.
We will provide the latest information on this webpage and also share information with Parish and local councillors so they can pass it on too.
You may also wish to follow the Essex Highways twitter feed: @essexhighways.