North Shropshire community invited to find out more about upcoming bridge replacement

Network Rail will be replacing the railway bridge on Mill Street in Wem later this year to help ensure reliable journeys for rail passengers and road users in north Shropshire for many more years to come.

In advance of the work taking place, there will be two drop-in events held at Wem Town Hall, SY4 5DG on Thursday 21 October, 9am – 12pm and Monday 1 November, 4pm – 7pm. These are an opportunity for the local community to ‘drop-in’ and find out more about the work.

For safety reasons, Mill Street will be temporarily closed underneath the railway bridge from Saturday 4 to Wednesday 29 December. A signed diversionary route will be in place along the B5063/Shawbury Road, A49 and B5065/Soulton Road.

During the core work (from 11pm on Friday 24 December to 4am on Wednesday 29 December), there will be a single lane closure and traffic lights in place at the roundabout between the B4576 and the B5063, as well as a full closure of the roundabout for 15 minutes on Sunday 26 December, whilst the new bridge is driven into place. Pedestrian access will be maintained underneath the bridge as much as possible when work isn’t happening.

The new bridge will be driven into place using a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) which means that a temporary full road closure is only needed for 15 minutes.

Laura Townsend, scheme project manager for Network Rail said: “We’d like to thank the local community in advance for their patience as we carry out this essential work to replace the bridge on Mill Street.

“Renewing this bridge will enable us to continue to run a safe and efficient railway resulting in better journeys for rail passengers and road users in the future.

“We know that there is never an ideal time to carry out work involving a road closure but using an SPMT to drive the bridge into place means we can minimise the impact on the local community as much as possible.

Councillor Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways, said: “We appreciate that this work will cause disruption while the road is closed, and we want to minimise any inconvenience caused.

“We’re working closely with Network Rail to ensure that local people and businesses are aware of the work, and to ensure that appropriate diversion routes and traffic management measures are in place whilst work is being carried out.”

The team will be setting up a temporary site compound in the field adjacent to the railway track from mid-November. The core work will take place from 11pm on Friday 24 December to 4am on Wednesday 29 December with staff working around the clock whilst trains aren’t running.

A rail replacement bus will be in operation on 27 and 28 December between Shrewsbury and Crewe.

Follow up work is planned to take place up until mid-January 2022.

Photo credit: Network Rail

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