Railway bridge work put back following community feedback

A road closure for the replacement of a railway bridge in a north Shropshire town has been pushed back following comments from the local community.

Rail bridge in Wem
Rail bridge in Wem

The £2.9m project to replace the railway bridge on Mill Street, Wem, is set to last until December 29 to help make railway journeys more reliable for passengers and road users.

Following feedback the road closure underneath the bridge on Mill Street will not start until 9pm on Saturday, December 4.

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

The delayed start will allow residents to travel to and from the town’s Christmas fair without having to follow the diversionary route.

Mill Street will be temporarily closed underneath the railway bridge until 4am on Wednesday December 29, and a signed diversionary route will be in place along the B5063/Shawbury Road, A49 and B5065/Soulton Road.

The main work will take place from 11pm on Friday December 24, to 4am on Wednesday December 29, with staff working around the clock as no trains will be running.

During this period, 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, December 26, 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: “At over 100 years old the railway bridge on Mill Street has come to the end of its life, so replacing it now will allow 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 of this nature, and we would like to thank the local community in advance for their patience whilst we carry out this essential work.

“This is a significant investment in Wem and I hope local residents will bear with us as much as possible during this period.”

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

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