Link Road work on schedule despite downpours

WORK on the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road remains on track for its scheduled completion date – despite heavy rains.

The project is on course for completion by spring next year, although the county is suffering its wettest winter for 20 years. Watch our video providing a birds-eye view of progress:

Bob Pape, East Sussex County Council Link Road project manager, said: “The project is still on programme to complete in May 2015, so everything is going according to plan.

“The weather conditions have been difficult and challenging for the workforce on site, however we knew about that and allowances have been made in the programme. We know the valleys flood at this time of year and there’s always likely to be plenty of rain.”

At the Hastings end of the scheme at Queensway, work is underway to create the new bridge to cross the main railway line.

Three hundred cubic metres of concrete have been poured as part of the work to create the base for the eastern side of the bridge, and in the weeks to come a similar volume of concrete will be added to create the Western base.

The bridge beams are expected to be put in place across the rail tracks in May and June, which will involve the temporary closure of the railway line during a series of 20 to 30 non-disruptive, short duration, night time closures.

Mr Pape said: “We have carried out some considerable earthworks to excavate for the new bases and have completed those with access down to the railway. We have put in place a significant quantity of steel reinforcement and had some very significant concrete pours.

“We’ve just completed the east abutment base which contains about three hundred cubic metres of reinforced concrete. We are aiming to complete the placement of the big beams for that structure with some overnight working in May and June of this year.”

At the Bexhill end of the scheme, the new Chapel Path Underpass is nearing completion with the major structural work now complete. Teams are engaged on the paving work and other finishings while the underpass is expected to open to the public in April.

“The concrete structure is largely complete – you can see from one end to the other through the tube – and we now need to do the finishings such as the footpaths. We are aiming to open it to pedestrians in April.”

The replacement Woodsgate Park Overbridge has had the new steel bridge beams lifted onto the abutments and construction work is on schedule for the reopening of the bridge in April.

“If anyone was passing through the area last month (JAN), they will have seen the bridge beams being placed on to the abutments,” said Mr Pape. “The structure has rapidly progressed over the last few weeks and we are aiming to finish everything off so that the road can be reopened sometime in April.”