Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Wallingford Bypass

It's now nearly 20 years since the bypass round Wallingford was built. It took the over stressed road which went through the town and over Wallingford Bridge. The bypass started at just outside Wallingford heading towards Hithercroft, Winterbrook and crossing the river to go through Mongewell before joining with the Reading road.
It cut through three roads and has five roundabouts to negotiate. When I first noticed that work was about to start I decided to take photo's of the work and follow the progress. I took photo's every week from various vantage points though failed to take any of the start and end of the bypass.

This was the first I knew the bypass was going to be built, Posts going up along with a fence.
 Across over on the Reading road cabins had gone up  and construction machines arrived.

It was not long before that you could see the ground had been scraped up 

Over the weekends the machines lay idle till  the Monday morning when they started work again.

 One of the first things that was done was the forming of two roundabouts ab the bottom of the Wallingford road at Winterbrook, they were to become the Winterbrook Roundabouts.

The Reading road and Wallinford road would change and a new bit of history started.

It was not long before the roundabouts were in place and the Wallingford road was 400 yards shorter. The mini was what I used to drive around in

The completed roundabout on the Wallingford road with the new road of the bypass to the right.

Just off  Winterbrook towards the river work was going on building the road and bridge that would take the Bypass over the Thames, the first new bridge in a long time. Soe of the first things you noticed going up were some concrete structures which would be part of the bridge ramp and support.

The first cut of the new road to be.

Piles being sunk deep into the ground for the bridge supports along with a service road.

These were the foundations for the flood relief sections of the ramp .

Rebar reinforcing and concrete.

getting to the right hight now.

The finished item before the ramp was built

Filling in the ramp between the two flood reliefs , I was told this was the ash from Didcot Power Station that was used here.

This is what it ended up looking like and it does flood through both of them.
While all that was going on preparation work for the  bridge itself was happening on both sides of the River Thames.
Here we look towards the Mongewell side of the river.

The main bridge support by the river went in

Then the bridge sections started to arrive

Then the crane which in this photo is stuck as the service road collapsed


But they got it out and managed to lower the sections in place

The last sections being lowered in place around 10 o clock at night

and bolted together by some very brave riggers.

It was a freezing night and there was a rescue boat on hand in case one of the riggers fell in, lucky it was not needed.

The Thames had a new bridge at last.
Might add it was not long before people were going for a walk along it
Today the bypass is used by thousands of cars,vans and lorries the drivers who probably never give it a thought as to what the place used to look like.

The bypass looking towards Winterbrook Bridge, no trace of the service road exists now

The Winterbrook Roundabouts, this one is at the bottom of the Wallingford road where it cut through it. It was one of my reference points
  The bypass looking towards Hithercroft where it crosses the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway

and the bridge looks like this now blended into the landscape.

No comments:

Post a Comment