Work will start later this summer to repair the Geddington Road Bridge in Corby after Northamptonshire County Council and Tata Steel reached a cost-sharing agreement which will update the bridge to enable it to carry the weight of present day heavy goods vehicles over 40 tonnes in weight.
The agreement will see both parties equally sharing the costs of the repairs, which will return the Geddington Road back to full usage and allow for the 3 tonne weight limit to be removed.
The challenge of upgrading the bridge has been difficult because the underlying structure of the bridge was made, in 1936, to the maximum capacity of 24 tonnes – the weight of HGVs at that time.
When was the weight restriction introduced?
The restriction was imposed in January 2011 as a result of concerns over the structural capacity of the bridge following a series of structural assessments and reviews which confirmed the 1936 capacity.
Cllr Michael Clarke, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “Thanks to our partnership between Tata Steel and Northamptonshire County Council, the bridge will be upgraded from 1936 standards to those of the twenty-first century.
“I’m delighted that we have now reached an agreement and that the work is now imminent. This will be an enormous relief to the people of Corby, businesses and, indeed, anyone who uses the Geddington Road.
“I’m pleased that we have been able to work together with Tata Steel to come to an agreement and reach a situation which everyone is happy with.”
What work will be done?
The bridge was created in 1936 when a railway was built under Geddington Road to serve the integrated steelworks at Corby. The bridge is owned by Tata Steel, while the carriageway on top of the bridge is the responsibility of the county council.
Work to refurbish the bridge will include constructing a new deck over the existing as well strengthening the abutments to bring it up to the current day standard of 44 tonnes.
Tata Steel will be handling the design and development of the improvements within the UK.