Bridge saga may be ending but graffiti shows people won't forget

First published in News
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THE end of work on Evesham's Abbey Bridge appears to be in sight but graffiti on the side of the structure shows residents won't forget the saga anytime soon.

Just a few pieces of scaffolding now remain at the site and workers appear to be adding the finishing touches on one set of steps.

But the delays have not been forgotten as this week a piece of graffiti, similar in style to that of famous street artist Banksy, was spotted on the underpass of the bridge.

It shows comedy duo Laurel and Hardy with the words, 'Another Fine Mess', underneath, highlighting the fact unhappy people have not forgotten the length of time the project has taken to finish.

The £8 million project, undertaken by contractor Hochtief, began in March last year and was originally set to be completed by December, with a complete closure period of 10 weeks.

Yet despite being open to both traffic and pedestrians for the last four months, the work has continued to take place leaving the bridge unfinished and prompting unhappy comments by residents.

Now this appears to be coming to an end with the play area on Crown Meadow opening yesterday (Wednesday, August 20).

It comes after complaints that the park was still shut.

One parent, Steve Taylor, of Shepherds Pool, Evesham, who has a 5-year-old son, had asked: "So with little for parents to do with their little angels, without spending an absolute fortune, why is it taking so long to re open the children's playground situated by the new bridge? Ten weeks of closure was bad enough, but this is ridiculous."

But district councillor Ron Davis, board member for contracted services, environment and health said the park was now better than ever

"We’re very pleased to be restoring this popular play area," he said. "The equipment has been upgraded and is ready to be enjoyed by local children once again."

The council also reported that the demolition of an old toilet block, which became redundant when the facilities at Corporation Meadow were installed, is due to take place on September 11.

Cllr Davis added: "There are those who thought we’d forgotten the toilet block but there were very good reasons for its retention. The block was a well used source of electricity for events and the nearby parking meters. It also had the potential to assist as flood compensation for new improvements to the park and meadows."

The ongoing delays in finishing the bridge have added to the amount Hochtief faces being fined by Worcestershire County Council.

County councillor John Smith, cabinet member with responsibility for highways, said: "Worcestershire County Council is working with the developer, Hochtief Construction to obtain liquidated damages to the value of approximately £360,000.

"We have learnt that one set of steps that run into the meadow have been completed and it is anticipated that the second steps will be finished shortly. The exact timing for this completion is in the hands of Hochtief Construction."

Comments (1)

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7:54pm Thu 21 Aug 14

aLurker says...

"began in March last year"
That canard again!
Quoting from the WCC Evesham Abbey Bridge Winter 2012 newsletter
"Hochtief Construction has just commenced work on-site in October 2012".
"began in March last year" That canard again! Quoting from the WCC Evesham Abbey Bridge Winter 2012 newsletter "Hochtief Construction has just commenced work on-site in October 2012". aLurker
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