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 approximately two years ago, 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 have agreed that Essex Highways should start the necessary site investigations in order for a replacement bridge to be built. Arrangements are in place to carry out site surveys in February 2019, which will inform future detailed design work.
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.
The option of installing temporary bridge has been discussed but it has been agreed that it would be less disruptive for the works to be carried out with a road closure with measures put in place to encourage HGVs to use a formal diversion route. We will also look to find other ways to reduce inconvenience. As mentioned above, key stakeholder groups will be invited to engage with us to help develop plans which minimise disruption if works go ahead.
On site Investigations will consist of ground surveys/excavations and bore hole work which will require a full five day closure of the bridge. The results of these investigations will provide some of the technical data needed to enable our engineers to progress a future scheme design.
Due to the tight work programme, a temporary compound will be set up in advance of the works. This will be located on a section of Bridge Street (adjacent to the pond and village green) requiring this section of the road to be closed from Friday 15 February until Monday 25 February when the site demobilises.
Our investigation works will not affect the current pedestrian access across the village pond footbridge or access into or out of residential properties or businesses which will be accessible via the signed diversion or alternative local routes.
Temporary road closure details
Friday 15 February to Monday 25 February 2019 inclusive - Bridge Street:
A section of Bridge Street will be closed to accommodate a site compound.
Monday 18 February to Friday 22 February 2019 inclusive - Full closure of B1053/The Green at Finchingfield Bridge:
Finchingfield Bridge will be fully closed to vehicles from 7am on Monday 18 February until it reopens to vehicles by 7pm on Friday 22 February. No vehicles will be permitted to pass over the bridge during this period.
Early warning signs have been set out to notify all drivers including HGVs that the bridge will be closed for five days. A formal diversion route will be in place during the closure set out below however we appreciate that some local people may choose to use local alternative routes:
- The Green, Brent Hall Road, Sampford Road, Hawkins Hill, Finchingfield Road, Hill Road, Moor End Road, High Street, Walden Road, Anso Road, Bumpstead Road, Hempstead Road, Water Lane, North Street, Haverhill Road, Chapel Street, Old Hall Road, Eggshell Lane, Cornish Hall End, Little London Hill, Howe Street, Duck End, The Causeway and vice versa.
Temporary shuttle bus
We have been working with bus operators regarding the forthcoming closure so that adjustments can be made to their services. Arrangements have been confirmed for an interconnecting replacement shuttle bus service (No 9 and 16) to be available, operated by Flagfinders.
The timetable and pick up/drop off arrangements have been confirmed by Essex County Council Passenger tranpsort and will be displayed at the existing bus shelter in the village centre. Timetable details are available on the Stephensons webpage and are also referred to in our Document section below.
Pickup/drop off locations within the village are as indicated on the map below. The service will stop one side of Finchingfiled Bridge in the village centre allowing passengers to make their way to the other side of the bridge, via the current pedestrian footbridge over the village pond, in order to pickup the interconnecting service.
Passengers are advised to contact the operator, or the Essex County Council Passenger Transport team with any specific questions relating to this service.
Temporary Clearway/No Parking
In order to accommodate the works, it will be necessary for us to enforce a Clearway/No Parking zone in set areas either side of the bridge to provide sufficient space for large vehicles to turn. Advance notices will clearly identify the sections of roads and period when parking enforcement is effective.
No Parking cones and signage will be in place during enforcement - please do not leave your vehicles in these areas.
Clearway zones will include areas on The Causeway, Brent Hall Road and Green Road. No parking areas will apply for the full five day bridge closure, 24 hours a day. In addition a Clearway/No parking zone will be necessary on a section of Bridge Street from Friday 15 February to ensure that section of road is clear of vehicles ready for the site team to set up.
If you leave your vehicle within a Clearway zone then we will make efforts to contact you but if we cannot identify you then you are at risk of receiving a Penalty Charge Notice. Essex Highways also have the authority to remove vehicles within a Clearway. Further details about enforcement are included in our Frequently Asked Questions found at the bottom of this page along with a copy of an information poster on No parking/clearway enforcement.
We regret any inconvenience caused by these restrictions, however it is essential we enforce a Clearway to support vehicles providing services to the village centre such as shuttle buses, emergency vehicles, winter gritting, waste recycling services as well as delivery vehicles serving local residents and businesses ensuring they have sufficient space to manoeuvre safely.
While full information is available on www.roadworks.org, we include a copy of the proposed Clearway areas below:
During the five day closure, the team will work between the hours of 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday, focusing on the quieter operations at the beginning and the end of their working day. This will reduce the time that some of the noisiest works will be carried out, to between the hours of 9am and 5pm.
Please note that these arrangements are subject to weather conditions being suitable to carry out the investigations, so may be subject to change at short notice if adverse weather conditions are experienced. In these circumstances the latest information will be reflected on site signage and updated on our website.
We appreciate that these investigation works may cause temporary noise and inconvenience to local residents, businesses and commuters, and would like to thank you for your understanding and patience while these are carried out.
Once we have concluded the necessary on-site technical investigations we will be in a better position to provide more detailed information and provide a community update.
Our intention is to post the latest information and any updates to this webpage and social media via our @essexhighways twitter feed.
The Parish Council and local councillors will also be provided updates they can pass on too.