A35 Holmsley bridge closure could be extended due to delays

CONTRACTORS carrying out a major road bridge replacement project have issued a “note of caution” over hitting a target of reopening the A35 by Easter.

The multi-million-pound project at Holmsley in the New Forest has prolonged motorists’ journeys for months.

Engineers from Knights Brown had been due to have the main road and C10, which runs under the bridge, open by April 8.

However, the firm has said delays caused by last month’s storms has left the team on site trying to make up the lost time.

A Knights Brown spokesperson said: “With our team taking advantage of additional weekend working wherever possible in recent weeks, the project has been moving along at pace.

“However, the severe storms that affected much of the UK caused considerable disruption, with Eunice particularly affecting steel lifting activities, causing several working days to be lost.

“While we are doing everything possible to recover this time, we wish to sound a note of caution with regards to the intended reopening of the A35 and C10 by Easter.

“Any further incidences of adverse weather while the waterproofing or surfacing operations are underway, could affect the conclusion of this critical phase of work and the Easter reopening date.

“However, we would stress this is not a foregone conclusion and we remain cautiously optimistic the Easter reopening will be achieved.

“We are doing all we can on a practical level and remain wholly committed to meeting this objective.”

Knights Brown said a further update will be provided towards the end of March when the outcome is clear.

The full completion of the Hampshire County Council’s £ 5.5million project to replace the road bridge is still scheduled for June, with the final stages of the work able to take place with the road back open.

As reported, The Old Station Tea Rooms, which has seen trade plummet since the roadworks started came in, will be supported on Mothering Sunday, March 27, with the temporary lifting of the road closure.

This will allow customers to reach the tea rooms from the Christchurch side of the A35, as well as the existing route from Burley on the C10.

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