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Contractors reply to Councillor's concern over Evesham bridge delays
THE contractors working on Evesham's Abbey Bridge have responded to claims the structure will remain closed to traffic until March next year.
Hochtief say the bridge will be completed by spring next year and the company lay some of the blame for the delay at the feet of Worcestershire County Council.
The response comes after a letter from Councillor Paul Middlebrough, leader of Wychavon District Council, sent to Hochtief on Friday after being led to believe the bridge, which was supposed to re-open in November, may remain closed until March next year.
In the letter he requested a director of the company, working to replace the 85-year-old bridge as part of a £12.6 million scheme, visit the town to see the “hardship” being caused by the delay.
Hochtief provided the following response: "In response to the letter published by Mr P Middleborough of Wychavon District Council on 6th December, HOCHTIEF wish to provide some clarity to the current closure of Abbey Bridge and Viaduct, Evesham.
"The original Worcestershire County Council concept design envisaged solutions which would have allowed the closure of Abbey Bridge for up to a period of 12 months.
"Hochtief was awarded the contract to rebuild the Abbey Bridge and Viaduct based on an innovative technical solution which avoided full demolition of the bridge and offered significant time and cost savings to Worcestershire County Council.
"It is correct that there have been delays, part of which we hold Worcestershire County Council liable for, that have driven a critical part of construction into the winter period. This, unfortunately, has exacerbated the problem due to adverse climatic conditions."
"Nevertheless, the actual time the bridge will be closed, by Hochtief, will be considerably shorter than foreseen in the original construction concept – even with said delays.
"Hochtief have and will continue to work with Worcestershire County Council to complete the project in the most expedient manner. We expect the bridge to be a first class structure and something which the people of Evesham can be proud of when it is complete in Spring 2014."
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