Colley Lane Southern Access Road

The Colley Lane, Southern Access Road Project, Bridgwater, in Somerset project involves two new bridges, carriageway, footways, a roundabout and a cycle path.

The outcome of the £18.4 million project will be to create a new link for heavy goods vehicles to gain access to the Colley Lane Industrial Estate from Junction 24 of the M5. It will also ease local road congestion and open up brownfield development sites.

The new roundabout, at the Showground Road/Marsh Lane junction, will widen and realign 100m of road and provide both pedestrian and cycle facilities.

Since mobilisation began in April, the project team has achieved key milestones in advance of the Somerset Bridge installation at Colley Lane Southern Access Road. Early works included piling, foundations, the load transfer platform, north and south abutments and (due to poor ground conditions on a section of the site) stabilisation works. Conventionally, quarry products would be used for constructing embankments, but in this case lightweight, high-density polystyrene blocks were used to create 300m of road embankment between the Somerset and Crossways Bridges. Adopting a low ground bearing pressure solution prevented additional loading on existing ground and reduced vehicular movements to the site by 90 per cent.

Bridge beams delivered to the site in early October were manufactured by Cleveland Bridge UK and were escorted to the site from fabrication facilities in Darlington. The beams were then reassembled into their curved shape at the Colley Lane site. Doing so much of the work in advance limited the need to work over water.

The bridge installation was carried out in late October after months of meticulous planning, overcoming many technical and logistical challenges and  involving over 45,000 working hours by the project team to ensure successful delivery. Whitemountain colleagues used a 1,250 tonne mobile crane with a 63m boom to lift three braced pairs of beams into place. Each pair of beams measured 52m long, 2.2m deep and 3.8m wide, with the heaviest weighing in at a challenging 156 tonnes.

The new Somerset bridge is the longest single-span bridge in Somerset – and one of the longest in the south-west.

In January Whitemountain carried out installation of a second 30 metre bridge over the Taunton and Bridgwater Canal. The Crossways Bridge is the latest section of the new Colley Lane Southern Access Road which will link Marsh Lane to Parrett Way and help ease congestion along Taunton Road and Broadway.

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