Work around the Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge has intensified in recent weeks after the main construction period for the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) began in early August.
Activity close to the bridge has focused on clearing trees and shrubs to permit access to locations where excavation and pile driving needs to take place in order to create load-bearing foundations for the replacement bridge (see visualisation below).
As planned, three-way temporary traffic lights have been in operation at the bridge during off-peak times only since Monday 2nd September. These have sometimes caused long tailbacks along Gipsy Patch Lane, although it has been observed that the one-way flow under the bridge has meant that queues disperse quickly during the ‘green’ phases.
The temporary lights were supposed to be in place for two weeks before being replaced by the intermittent use of stop/go boards, however, it was announced in mid-September that the lights would be needed for at least a further week. The extension was said to be needed to “enable additional work to lower a utility cable”.
An eight-month full closure of Gipsy Patch Lane remains on the cards for early next year, either side of a 12-day closure of the railway line over Easter during which the existing bridge will be dismantled and its much wider replacement moved into place.
The precise dates of the full closure have not been announced, but information on roadworks.org suggests that it will commence on 5th March.
Uncertainty surrounds details of the traffic management that will be in place between now and the start of the full road closure in spring next year. A Traffic Management Framework document submitted with the planning application for the bridge works indicated that a 12-month one-way closure of Gipsy Patch Lane east of the bridge would be necessary from July 2019 to June 2020.
With no other detailed up-to-date traffic management plans being available on South Gloucestershire Council’s dedicated CPME webpage at www.southglos.gov.uk/CPmetrobus, we asked if this information could be provided for inclusion in this article.
A spokesperson replied:
“We are currently undertaking further detailed programming work to confirm the precise timescales and the most appropriate forms of traffic management for the widening of Gipsy Patch Lane to the east and west of the railway bridge. We will engage with the Stakeholder Liaison Group regarding this in the near future and we will then publish further information when confirmed.”
Gipsy Patch Lane: What happens next?
Planned works on Gipsy Patch Lane for autumn 2019 will see the continuation of preparation works for the replacement railway bridge. This work will include further clearance of trees and shrubs around the existing bridge, the dismantling and removal of the pill box, preparation for foundation works at the four corners of the new bridge and piling works. We will be writing to residents and businesses near to the bridge concerning the piling works. Work will also start in the construction site in the Horizon 38 Business Park where the new bridge will be built before being moved into place next year. We are in discussions with the CPME Stakeholder Liaison Group regarding the planting of replacement trees at alternative locations within the Stoke Gifford and Little Stoke areas.
Source: South Gloucestershire Council
Images – Top: Three-way traffic lights in operation at the railway bridge in September 2019. Above: Video still frame showing construction of the four ‘pile caps’ on which the new bridge will be supported.
• Visit our MetroBus Extension Build page for the latest information.
This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on pages 8 & 9). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
UPDATE (5th October 2019)
SGC announced on 30th September that piling work at the railway bridge site is due to start week commencing Monday 14th October. It will be carried out over a period of approximately three months. During the piling work, automated stop/go boards will be used as needed on Gipsy Patch Lane, but only when workers and machinery need to safely cross the road. A drop-in information session has been arranged at Little Stoke Primary School on Tuesday 8th October, between 4pm and 7pm.