A council has hailed the road safety improvements and ‘green engineering’ it has introduced in a £580,000 project to replace a road bridge.
West Sussex County Council said a new bridge was needed at Wineham Lane, Wineham because the side walls of the old bridged were leaning badly and a number of the small culvert pipes had fractured, meaning the structure was becoming unsafe.
It said ‘green engineering’ used in the project included:
- wildlife ‘shelves’ under the bridge so animals can cross the causeway safely under the road
- the verge is made of ‘grasscrete’ – a concrete grid that allows grass to grow through it, so it will ‘green up’ over time
- the approach embankments were ‘green engineered’, replacing the old concrete side walls and harsh metal railings with natural reinforced earth embankments
- safety fences are clad in timber and the old metal railings replaced with sustainable timber fencing.
Bob Lanzer, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: ‘This project has combined safety improvements with green engineering to ensure the new bridge is in-keeping with the rural setting.
‘For example, the reinforced earth approach embankments should meld into the surroundings over time, replacing the harsher concrete walls and metal railings.’
The council said that vehicles had regularly hit side railings on the bridge but two carriageway lanes have been built, replacing a ‘pinchpoint’ that funnelled traffic, while forward visibility has also been increased.
A speed restriction has been extended over the bridge and a hardened verge introduced to improve safety for pedestrians, who previously had to walk in the road between the side railings.
The pipes were replaced with a new larger box bridge designed to last a minimum of 120 years.