Future Southampton

'Pinch point' bridge works

The city received £2.4 million ‘pinch point’ funding in 2014 to refurbish the city’s bridge network.  Work to improve the robustness of the city’s river and rail bridges, and motorway flyovers to prepare and protect them for the future, is now almost complete.

  • Improvements to the Western Approach Rail Bridge were completed in 2014.
  • Maintenance works on Redbrook and Millbrook flyovers were completed summer of 2014.
  • Improvements works to Central Bridge were completed in November 2014.
  • Improvements works to Northam Bridge were completed in March 2015.
  • Maintenance works to Vicarage Bridge is being undertaken between January and March 2016.
    • Itchen Bridge

    Itchen Bridge - Photo Credit: Balfour Beatty Living Places

Itchen Bridge and Vicarage Bridge

Itchen Bridge overnight closures for vital maintenance – start February 2016

Essential maintenance works to replace expansion joints on the Itchen Bridge was undertaken in February and March 2016. The work took a total of 16 nights to complete. 

Overnight diversions were signposted via Peartree Avenue, Bitterne Road West and Northam Bridge. Work was noisy at times but as much as possible the noisiest work was carried out earlier into each closure. 

In addition to these overnight works, daytime repairs were carried out under the section of Itchen Bridge that spans Bridge Road, known as Vicarage Bridge.

All works were completed in March 2016.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why was work on Itchen Bridge and Vicarage Bridge carried out in 2016?

Funding constraints means the works need to be completed in that financial year and work was timed to avoid conflict with other major highways work in the area.

Why was work not carried out during the day?

Itchen Bridge is an important route into the city for residents and the impact of day time closures would cause significant impact on the network. As it was possible to complete the work in stages overnight when the least number of people use the bridge and when the alternative diversion routes are not busy, this caused the least disruption for residents and businesses.

What travel advice was given?

During the night works access over the Itchen Bridge was restricted by temporary traffic signals between 8pm and 11pm causing only minimal delays to journey times. On those nights between 11pm and 6am Itchen Bridge was closed and the advised diversion route was sign posted via Bitterne Road West and Northam Bridge. The route was advertised on www.southampton.roadworks.org.

Will there be pedestrian access?

Pedestrian access was maintained at all times throughout the night closures. 

Why did work take so long?

This was a major scheme to dig out and replace expansion joints that span the width of the Itchen Bridge in eight locations. Work was required to plane out and replace the road surface either side of the joint to ensure flush levels are maintained. Structural repairs to the underside of Vicarage Bridge (across Bridge Road) were also required. Restrictions on day time closures for this important route and noise restrictions mean only certain work can be carried out early evening. Due to the weather dependency exact dates for closures could only be publicised closer to the times.

Who is funding this work?

The maintenance to Vicarage Bridge was being funded by Southampton City Council and the DFT (Department for Transport) ‘pinch point’ funding, part of a £4.5m package to safeguard vital routes into and out of the city. This funding included work on several other major structures in the city (including Central Bridge, Redbridge and Millbrook flyovers, Western Approach Rail Bridge, and Northam Bridge)

Why isn’t work carried out 24 hours a day seven days a week to speed up work?

We are working both during the day and at night where necessary in order to keep the highway as operational as possible. If the works where to take place 24/7, this would result in a full road closure which would create significant disruption. There are significant costs attached to working 24/7 and the funding for schemes is not sufficient to accommodate these additional costs.

Northam Bridge

Major repair works took place on Northam Bridge for the first half of 2015. This work was essential to repair and maintain this vital bridge, one of the busiest routes into the city centre.

The work to Northam River Bridge included the removal of the road surface down to the bridge's concrete and steel structure, which was then repaired before a waterproofing protection layer was applied.  The road and footpaths were then rebuilt. Without this investment now, the bridge was likely to deteriorate quickly and would have required much more significant repairs and reconstruction. 

Central Bridge

Work on Central Bridge was completed in November 2014. The essential work involved the repair and replacement of the drainage and waterproofing layer and required major construction work to stripped back the bridge to its brick structure. Without this work the bridge would have deteriorated more quickly and could have required much more significant renovation and reconstruction.

With such extensive work there was an opportunity to make changes to the road design.  The new bridge now provides an important new link for the Eastern Cycle Route via a segregated two lane cycle path, which shaves at least 150m from the route into Southampton city centre from the East of the city. 

Below is a document of the new improved Eastern Cycle Route, with the key features highlighted and explained.

    • cycle route map central bridge and beyond

    cycle route map central bridge and beyond

    • Central Bridge route layout

    Central Bridge route layout

The changes also now provide a more direct route onto Central Bridge for traffic coming from Platform Road, via Terminus Terrace, and heading for the Itchen Bridge. This new direct route is half a kilometer shorter for traffic using this route. The image below shows how the changes at Platform Road now also give priority for traffic turning left onto Terminus Terrace for Central Bridge.

There is also a new European style junction at Saltmarsh Junction to enable safer and more efficient travel for cyclists and motorists.  Information about how to use this junction is available below.

Redbridge and Millbrook flyovers

Essential maintenance work on Redbridge and Millbrook flyovers was carried out over the summer of 2014.  The work was necessary to refurbish the drainage, to ensure that they continue to serve the city for many years to come.   

    • redbridge flyover

    redbridge flyover - Photo Credit: Balfour Beatty Living Places