One can legitimately ask, ‘What’s gone wrong at this site?’ I am a very frequent traveller on the A27 trunk road and have been exasperated by the disruption caused.
This contract for the Stockbridge footbridge was specified in a winter period, from the beginning of January to the beginning of April ‘18. Surprise, surprise we have now been told that partly to blame was bad weather that affected the works.
Yet, both sides of the bridge were enshrouded in plastic to protect the workforce, with those internal works conducted, being protected too. Also, compared to other parts of the country, we have had it pretty easy down here in the south for wintry bad weather.
So, what was really the bad weather claimed, that was so bad? Also, could ‘wintry weather’, have not have been reasonably predicted, considering the time of year?
The new main span for the footbridge arrived very early in the contract, and was basically installed in one lump and was painted up too, before fixing in place.
Importantly, there was no footings or foundations to worry about. It was, old span out and new in.
The existing footways and railings leading to the span have remained in place.
Has there been sufficient workforce in place consistently, especially recently?
That’s questionable. Has there been major disruption to traffic throughout on what is a major trunk road? Absolutely.
Now we are told that there could be another month of disruption, and this was quoted as, ‘...slightly delayed’. That’s about a third of the time of the original notice of the works contract added on. Is that ‘slight’?
The works will now be 120 days approximately overall, for no more than what could be classified as a refurbishment project, bar the removal and installation of the old and new spans.
The disruption and queues have been horrendous. Pollution levels for this site are well known, even in normal circumstances. These bridge works have arguably made that situation worse.
The motoring public I feel, have been grossly and unnecessarily inconvenienced in this prolonged period of time.
In the words of Victor Meldrew, ‘I don’t believe it’!
Steve Parker, Selsey Road, Donnington