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.
These investigations have shown that it is technically feasible to install a temporary bridge across the village green. We continue to explore this as an option with Finchingfield Parish Council in order to bring us closer to this as a potential outcome.
In order for Essex Highways to move the project forward, various planning approvals will be required for both the permanent structure, the temporary structure and for use of the village green areas and for activities next to listed buildings. In addition, Essex Highways will need to obtain all the necessary consents associated with any proposed works.
Essential bridge parapet repairs planned for August 2020
Arrangements are in place for essential repairs to be carried out to Finchingfield Bridge from Monday 17 August 2020. The works are due to complete on Thursday 27 August, subject to good weather and no unexpected issues arising.
Works will be carried out between the hours of 7am and 6pm and involve parapet repairs, including reconstructing the northern parapet. These works are considered as an interim measure, intended to preserve the bridge’s continued safe use.
Additional investigations will also be carried out during the road closure to support the design of a new replacement structure and ongoing design of the temporary works.
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 16 August 2020 until the end of Thursday 27 August, when the site demobilises.
Our works will not affect the current pedestrian routes across the village pond footbridge or access into or out of residential properties or businesses. Access by road will be maintained via the signed diversion or alternative local routes.
As more details become available to support these temporary works, or if changes become necessary updates will be published on this webpage and shared with the parish council.
Temporary road closure
- Partial closure of Bridge Street - 16 August to 27 August inclusive
A section of Bridge Street will be closed to accommodate a site compound.
- Full closure of B1053/The Green at Finchingfield Bridge – 17 August to 27 August inclusive
Finchingfield Bridge will be fully closed to vehicles by 5am on Monday 17 August until it reopens to vehicles by the end of day on Thursday 27 August when the works are expected to complete. No vehicles will be permitted to pass over the bridge during this time.
Early warning signs will be in place prior to the works notifying all drivers including HGVs that the bridge will be closed. 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 Causeway, Duck End, Howe Street, Little London Hill, Cornish Hall End, Finchingfield Road, Chapel Street, Haverhill Road, North Street, Water Lane, Hempstead Road, Bumpstead Road, High Street, Anso Road, Walden Road, Moor End Road, Hall Road, Hawkins Hill, Sampford Road, Brent Hall Road and vice versa.
Temporary bus arrangements
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.
The timetable and pick up/drop off arrangements have been confirmed by Essex County Council Passenger transport 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 link. The service will stop one side of Finchingfield 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 zones
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/No Parking areas apply 24 hours a day and include: The Causeway, Brent Hall Road and The Green. No parking areas will apply 24 hours a day as per site notices.
In addition a Clearway/No parking zone will be necessary on a section of Bridge Street from 16 August to ensure that section of road is clear of vehicles ready for the site team to set up their compound.
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 Questions and Answers found at the bottom of this page.
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 bus services, emergency vehicles, waste recycling services as well as delivery vehicles serving local residents and businesses ensuring they have sufficient space to manoeuvre safely.
Proposed Clearway areas identified below in green. This is also reflected on one.network.
Our intention is to post the latest information and any updates to this webpage and social media via our @essexhighways twitter feed, as well as sharing with the Parish Council and local councillors.