Arrgh!! Brace for Harnham roadwork headache

Harnham bridge works sign

10:30am 16th July 2017
(Updated 3:32pm 17th July 2017)

It's one of Salisbury's busiest commuter routes, and from later today (Sun. 16 July) motorists using the A338 New Bridge Road at Harnham, face more than a month of disruption due to roadworks.

But the real headache is set to begin very early Monday morning (17 July) as the full weight of traffic that normally uses this four lane road, finds it's been cut to just one lane each way.

Major maintenance and resurfacing works are being carried out at Harnham Bridge until Wednesday 23 August.

Wiltshire Council's Highways Team have told Spire FM that they will begin setting up some of the 'traffic management' from late Sunday (16 July) and intend to put the traffic restrictions into action from the early hours of Monday morning (17 July).

Harnham bridge

DISRUPTION: Thousands of vehicles use Harnham Bridge every day

IS IT POOR TIMING?

These roadworks are set to last until August 23rd.

None of the schools have broken-up yet, and the traffic restrictions at Harnham will pose a huge obstacle and create misery for motorists. For most schools in Wiltshire, term ends on Friday 21 July. Hampshire schools don't end until Tues 25 July.

If the work had been postponed for just another week, the majority of children would have started their Summer holidays, meaning traffic levels would be much lighter. But there's no indication these 'major roadworks' will wait until schools have closed.

Congestion is likely to be horrendous... not just on this route, but all other routes that feed into the A338 at Harnham Bridge.

New Bridge Road from Salisbury Ring Road

Churchill Way South ring road adds pressure to roadwork zone

New Bridge Road sign

MAJOR WORKS: Motorists told to expect delays

WHAT THE COUNCIL SAY:

A spokesperson for Wiltshire Council has told Spire FM:

"The road over the bridge will be reduced from the current four lanes (two in each direction) to two lanes (one in each direction), this will allow our engineers to work safely in the closed off sections. The lanes open to traffic will be moved across the bridge as the work proceeds."

"There will be no restrictions to adjacent businesses but we do acknowledge that there is likely to be some inconvenience and delay for road users. Undertaking these works in the summer takes advantage of the reduced traffic levels, even with holiday traffic taken into account, and gives us longer daylight hours and hopefully better weather, enabling the work to be completed in a shorter overall time."

AND - also according to Wiltshire Council:

The works are expected to be completed within four weeks, and involve removing the tarmac surfacing and installing a waterproofing layer which will cover the length of the bridge. The Council will embargo all non-urgent roadworks on the main roads approaching the city for the duration of the scheme, in an effort to minimise delays for motorists.

Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for highways is quoted as saying:

"These are essential works to improve the safety of the bridge. Once they've been completed motorists will notice great improvements. While we appreciate there will be delays, we will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum as usual. Every effort will be made to make use of the longer summer daylight hours to ensure that the works are progressed as quickly as possible."

New Bridge Road underpass Salisbury

'New Bridge Road': crossing is 'well preserved example'

AGEING BRIDGE:

Harnham Bridge was originally built in 1933. It's described as a 'well preserved example of early reinforced concrete design' and the council says it's important to keep it in a good condition and ensure it remains safe for traffic to use well in to the future.

TRAVEL UPDATES:  Remember to keep an eye on Spire FM's TRAVEL page for the latest updates: www.spirefm.co.uk/travel

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