Catholic Bridge, B1389 Newland Street/Colchester Road, Witham

Latest News - 16 November 2018: Catholic Bridge update

Works to reinstate the physical width restriction on Pasture Road (between Greenfield junction and Perry Road/Freebournes Road roundabout) has now been completed.

We are continuing to carry out works to Catholic Bridge.  From Tuesday 20 November 2018, two way traffic lights will be in place at the bridge during off peak day time hours (between 9.30am and 3.30pm) when operations dictate they are necessary.  These works are to complete the headwall construction of the subway and are anticipated to take approximately 3 weeks.

Pedestrian access will continue to be diverted over the bridge during these works. 

Works Location





 During construction


Before - temporary supports


Before - temporary supports under structure 


Proposed subway under structure


Catholic Bridge, Newland Street/Colchester Road, Witham


About the scheme:

Catholic Bridge carries the B1389 Newland Street/Colchester Road in Witham and is on the Blackwater Rail Trail, part of a disused Maldon to Witham railway line.

Catholic Bridge was originally constructed in 1848 and consists of eight longitudinal cast iron beams with brick jack arches spanning between the beams.  

Strengthening works have been undertaken at various times, with the installation of trestle supports. The first set of supports was installed during the Second World War and the second set was installed in the 1990s. These supports have been of steel construction and during an inspection in 2014 cracks were identified in three of the cast iron beams. Additional temporary supports were installed at that time and footpath passing under the bridge diverted through the centre.

Plans have now been made to remove the temporary supports and strengthen the bridge by constructing a new single span concrete structure below the existing bridge. Work will also be undertaken to strengthen the parapet walls.  

This scheme will provide a permanent structural solution and allow the continued access under the bridge via the Blackwater Rail Trail.


The works:

The construction of the subway is complete and we are currently undertaking the construction of the parapet walls and wing walls.  These works may require lane restrictions during off-peak times.  There will be no requirement for any further full road closures, hence the Pasture Road width restriction has been reinstated.

Works to reinforce the structure of Catholic Bridge are anticipated to be completed by end of January 2019, subject to suitable weather a no unexpected issues arising.


What is involved and how may it affect you: 

Temporary parking restrictions will be necessary on Eastways to support the works. The parking restriction will be from the junction with Black Croft Road towards the south to the end of the road. This section of the road will be closed off during works.

Some off peak lane restrictions may be necessary on Newland Street/Colchester Road at the bridge as and when required. Appropriate traffic management will be in place.


Further information: 

The latest updates about these works will be reflected on site signage and updated to this webpage.  

For details about other roadworks in the area please visit: