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.
We would like to thank local communities, in particular residents and businesses of Finchingfield for their patience during the temporary road closure.
It is important that we now take time to evaluate the effectiveness of the measures put into place during the five day closure. These arrangements included the formal diversion route, shuttle bus service and provision of temporary parking as well as listening to the concerns raised by the people of Finchingfield including the reduction of traffic, impact on business trade and visitors to the area and safety concerns.
We will continue to work with the community and parish and district council to reassess all options to facilitate any future Finchingfield bridge replacement works, including possible mitigations for local businesses and residents during those works.
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.