Chelmsford City Council has appointed GRAHAM to design and construct a new bridge and road that will provide access to the new city centre neighbourhood, Chelmer Waterside.
Procured through the Crown Commercial Services Framework, the new access road and bridge will cross the river Chelmer and connect Wharf Road with Parkway. The access road and bridge will provide another access route to the new neighbourhood and alleviate pressure at the junction of Navigation Road and Springfield Road. The project will also improve cycling and walking routes nearby.
The new single span bridge has been designed to carry pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles accessing the new neighbourhood. The road will have a width restriction and a 20mph speed limit with traffic calming in place, to ensure the road is only used for access into the site, not as a through route. There will also be traffic calming measures in place on nearby Wharf Road.
The bridge has been designed as a bowstring tied arch in Corten steel to reflect the former industrial heritage of Chelmer Waterside. It will connect into the city’s cycle network, plus will allow room for boats using the waterways to pass underneath. Work is expected to finish in spring 2025.
Cllr Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council is pleased further work is being undertaken to regenerate the Chelmer Waterside neighbourhood:
“This new bridge is a vital first step to creating a new neighbourhood. It is crucial to invest in infrastructure ahead of development so that existing communities benefit from new development. It’s important that we build on brownfield sites when we can, and conversations about regenerating the Chelmer Waterside area have been happening for around 30 years. I’m pleased that we are now getting on with it.
“Chelmer Waterside is located alongside the city’s waterways, just minutes from the city centre and they have been one of Chelmsford’s “hidden assets”. It makes sense to turn this area into a desirable community where people can live and work, and in particular, building affordable homes. This road and bridge will create better public access to Chelmer Waterside so we can bring the site forward for development.”
Chelmsford City Council’s Local Plan has allocated the whole of the Chelmer Waterside area for housing-led development. To achieve this, the city council developed a planning framework to show how the land could be developed in a co-ordinated and connected way. The area consists of a number of different sites which come together as one new neighbourhood: Chelmer Waterside.
Cllr Lynne Foster, Cabinet Member for a Fairer Chelmsford, hopes others can see the benefit to building on unused brownfield land:
“This is a long-term programme to turn an unused part of the city into an attractive and pleasant place that people will want to live and spend time in. The building of the access road and bridge will be much quicker, completed in approximately 18 months, but it’s important to keep the longer-term aspiration in mind. We can create an appealing new city centre neighbourhood in an area that is not fulfilling its current potential.”
Regarding the announcement of GRAHAM’s appointment, Contracts Manager, John Deery said:
“We are delighted to have been appointed by Chelmsford City Council to deliver this hugely beneficial project. Our journey so far has been marked by true collaboration, working with statutory and local authorities to design and develop this scheme.
“The construction of the new access road and bridge over the river Chelmer will pave the way to a new neighbourhood, providing long-term benefits to the area. Upon completion, the single span bow string bridge will create access to new housing sites and has been designed to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles while ensuring uninterrupted passage for boats navigating the waterways.
“As experts in the field of civil engineering, our team will be on hand to deliver the access road and bridge safely and efficiently. We’re looking forward to playing our part in this transformational scheme and leaving a lasting legacy in Chelmsford.”