A 55-meter bridge will be built at Mile End, Oswestry, to span the A5
The bridge will be lowered into place by one of the largest cranes in the nation on the evening of Monday, November 27 to Tuesday, November 28, 2023, marking the start of the next phase of construction for the 55-meter-long bridge over the A5 at Mile End in Oswestry.
Access to the new Oswestry Innovation Park is made simple and safe for both pedestrians and cyclists thanks to the bridge’s design.
After National Highways finished improving the Mile End junction last year, this is the second significant development in the area. When combined, these projects will help the town’s Innovation Park, which is slated to become a much-needed job park.
Up until recently, the new bridge was kept in storage within the Mile End site compound while all required preliminary work was completed and supporting structures were constructed. Since then, the sections and component parts have been moved to the installation area so that setup can begin. Right now, it is supported by concrete and ready to be lifted into position.
The A5 will be closed from 8 p.m. on Monday, November 27 to 6 a.m. on Tuesday, November 28, in order to facilitate the installation. A signed detour will be in place during the closure of the A5, which will run from the Whittington Road Roundabout to the Mile End Roundabout.
While there will be a short-to-medium term delay in accessing the new structure, the bridge’s intended purpose is to link the public rights of way on either side of the A5, in addition to providing access to and from the Park. This is because one of the planning conditions for the bridge was that it must be installed before the Innovation Park was built.
Additionally, the Shrewsbury Road will have improved accessibility due to the extension of the pedestrian and bicycle connectivity from the bridge.
Following the bridge’s installation, more work will need to be done on the site, such as installing 200 meters of ramps, installing drainage, and landscaping. These tasks should be finished by spring 2024.
The project’s client, Shropshire Council, will own, operate, and maintain the bridge. A significant amount of work by all parties involved to deliver this important piece of infrastructure will be completed with the bridge’s installation. The bridge was designed by WSP and was manufactured and installed by Beaver Bridges Ltd.
The weather on November 27th will have a significant impact on the lifting operation, which depends heavily on wind speeds. If the winds are too strong, the operation will have to be postponed. But in case it becomes necessary, a number of extra dates for the A5’s closure have been reserved so that one of the biggest cranes in the nation can lift the structure into position.
Along with the bridge installation, plans are being made for the proposed Innovation Park, which will include the installation of incoming utilities, connectivity, and all roads. Work on the project is expected to begin in the spring of 2024.
Early in 2025, serviced employment land plots will be available as a result of the planned infrastructure improvements, allowing for the complete site to be disposed of rather than using the previously intended phased approach. Plots are in high demand, and inquiries are being tracked. After infrastructure contracts are awarded, all plots will be put up for sale.
Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) and the government’s Growth Deal-funded Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have provided funding to support the infrastructure improvements that will enable future developments.
The funds granted have aided in the construction of the pedestrianized overpass over the A5, road improvements, and related infrastructure projects that will support the growth of the Oswestry Innovation Park job site.