Temporary change to road layout on Rochester’s New Bridge

Motorists are advised that Rochester’s New Bridge is to be temporarily limited to one lane while essential works are carried out.

The works are part of the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project, and will be carried out by FM Conway, on behalf of the Rochester Bridge Trust. They include the removal of the road surface, deck cleaning and inspecting, waterproofing, and drainage installation.

Sue Threader, Bridge Clerk at the Rochester Bridge Trust, explained: “Since the refurbishment began in April last year, lead contractor FM Conway has been instructed to take every measure possible to maintain two lanes on the New Bridge and cause as little disruption to the travelling public as possible. This has included overnight working.

“The programme has now reached a point where more of the road surface needs to be closed and single-lane operation of the New Bridge has become unavoidable. 

“We apologise for this inconvenience but wish to assure the public FM Conway will be doing everything in their power to reduce disruption.”

Some diversions and traffic restrictions will need to be implemented during this time. There will be no right turn from the New Bridge to Rochester Esplanade; no right turn from Rochester Esplanade to Corporation Street in Rochester; no right turn from the Old Bridge to Canal Road in Strood; and no vehicular exit from Canal Road, which will instead be temporarily accessed via Riverside. Diversion signs will be put in place.

Liam McGoldrick, Senior Contracts Manager at FM Conway, added: “As part of the waterproofing works we will be removing the existing asphalt to expose the structure underneath. This will enable us to carry out any necessary repairs but the process takes time, with periods of curing required when the concrete is being left to cure. 

“We ask the public to be patient as it may be that at times it looks like very little work is being done – because we cannot work near the areas where the concrete is being left to cure. Once those repairs have been carried out, the waterproofing can begin.

“It’s impossible to give a duration or completion date for the works at this stage because we won’t know the condition of the concrete deck of the bridge until the surfacing has been removed. However we will do everything we can to keep the duration to an absolute minimum, while keeping the site safe.”

Single lane operation will be implemented on the New Bridge – taking road traffic from Strood to Rochester – from Saturday, 21st March. 

Helen McConnell, FM Conway’s Public Liaison Officer will be contacting as many residents and businesses as possible before the works begin. Any enquiries should be directed to her by emailing helen.mcconnell@fmconway.co.uk or calling 07917 518529.

For more information see www.rbt.org.uk/refurbishment.

These maps illustrate the diversions and traffic restrictions to be implemented:

Canal Road Diversion no rightturn off bridge
Canal Road Diversion
Diversion No Right Hand Turn Into Esplanade from Bridge