Traffic chaos as Bishopstoke Bridge in emergency closure

Bishopstoke bridge

Police are turning traffic away at Lidl Roundabout and Chickehall Lane

UPDATE: Bridge re-opened at 16.20 following inspection by Network Rail – HCC engineers to re-assess at 5pm – Police say :

“Engineers tell us matter reported today is part of a long term issue”.

One of Eastleigh’s main thoroughfares the B3037 Bsihopstoke Road is closed to traffic this afternoon (Sunday May 19) after bolts on the Bishopstoke bridge were found to be exposed.

Police are turning traffic away until county engineers arrive to assess the damage but the bridge is still open to pedestrians and cyclists.

Mainline train services to London were also halted but it is understood they are being allowed to proceed under bridge with caution.

The exposed bolts and damaged concrete which are either side of  one of the expansion joints was spotted by Eastleigh resident Paul Rice who said he felt the bridge vibrating unduly with the traffic.

Bridge

Mr Rice said he first phoned 101 to report but was worried that the potential severity of the problem may have underestimated so he contacted his County Councillor – newly elected Ukip Councillor Andy Moore – who then immediately alerted the police himself and county engineers.

bolt 1

Cracked concrete and exposed bolts

Cllr Moore said he feared the damage was a symptom of  the cut backs in county spending and showed that Eastleigh’s infrastructure can’t cope with the traffic:

“We badly need that Chickenhall Lane link road” he told Eastleigh News.

It is not known when the bridge will reopen.

Newly elected Cllr Andy Moore surveys damage

Newly elected Cllr Andy Moore surveys damage

 

Photos:©Eastleigh News

  22 comments for “Traffic chaos as Bishopstoke Bridge in emergency closure

  1. May 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Well done Cr Andy Moore taking action when the folks at 101 could not see what the problem is. The period that this bridge will be closed really will bring home the long overdue need for Eastleigh to have a by pass which UKIP included within thier recent county council campaign. It also goes to show that our local council and coalition government cannot keep on having thousands ofnew houses built when there are no infrastructure improvements.

    • Barry
      May 19, 2013 at 6:16 pm

      Where would a bypass be routed

  2. SH
    May 19, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    This bridge was subjected to weekend closures for maintenance recently for “resurfacing and strengthening” – another bodge job?

  3. SH
    May 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    “We badly need that Chickenhall Lane link road” – then traffic would try and get into the Town Centre over…. THIS BRIDGE.

  4. Pete Stewart
    May 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Well done Paul Rice and UKIP County Councillor Andy Moore. This proves UKIP are able and willing to solve local problems.

  5. Matthew Myatt
    May 19, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Well done UKIP and Any Moore. Nice to see the new county council is prepared to look out for local issues unlike the last one who just wanted to cut down trees and build on everything.

  6. Ian P
    May 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I moved into Fair Oak in 1975 on the understanding that a new bridge route would be soon in place. Gullible or what?

  7. May 19, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    this isue is a long standind problem if the M27 or M3 mucks up then eastleigh gets the lot if this bridge go’s down there is no east west link outher than mansbridge or allbrook and we will grind to a stop … just a thought what will the responce time be for a 999 call to chickenhall lane industrial site if bridge is out my guess 20 – 30 mins hmmmm

  8. anna m
    May 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    A cynical person might notice that the person who reported this problem was the proposer for the ukip councillor who has not hesitated to blame the problem on his predecessor.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      May 19, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Well spotted Anna M! I don’t think Cllr Moore was directly blaming his predecessor Chris Thomas and there is no doubt there are problems with the bridge structure that patch up repairs have failed to fix. The point Moore was making about the infrastructure in Eastleigh struggling to cope with the traffic is a valid one and perhaps it would be a good idea to revisit the Chickenhall Lane link road.
      I’m personally relieved to see Ukip talking about local issues rather than just immigration!

  9. Sam Snook
    May 19, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Peter,
    That was quick! Has UKIP solved the local problem?
    Sam Snook

    • Pete Stewart
      May 20, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Sam,

      I agree. That was quick work by UKIP. Now let’s hope a rapid solution is possible. But it may not be.

      As you know, it is important to get repairs to roads done quickly and properly. You have considerable experience in the field. What’s your opinion? Do you feel as i do, that there might be some subsidence caused by excessive vibration, itself caused by excessively heavy lorries?

      • May 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm

        Thats a job for County Engineers. They will
        submit a report full to Hampshire County Council.
        I do not have an opinion and certainly have no experience is this field.
        Sam Snook.

  10. anna m
    May 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    He may not be directly blaming Chris Thomas but he (and several commenters on this page) seem to be making the most of the chance to blame government cut backs and reiterate ukip’s plans for the chicken hall lane link.
    But maybe I’m just being cynical, ‘local councillor brings town to chaos and attention to his policies’

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      May 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      “Local councillor in political point-scoring shock!!”.

      Don’t worry Anna, you are still nowhere near as cynical as my wife who claims that all politicians are largely self-serving and says she won’t vote for any of them!

      I expect the next thing that will happen is that Cllr Moore’s political rivals will downplay the seriousness of the bridge’s state of disrepair in order to undermine his credibility.

      Whatever Cllr Moore’s motives (worth noting It wasn’t his decision to close the bridge) he has highlighted problems with the bridge and traffic in Eastleigh and there is even a chance the bridge might get fixed quicker than it might have done otherwise.

      I’m afraid I’m no photographer and my piccy doesn’t do justice to the damage. There are two bolts exposed with one bolt protruding several cms clear of road surface – a potential puncture hazard in itself. It is sitting in a crater as surrounding concrete has broken away.

      What has caused this? Possibly the bridge flexing excessively? I do wonder if current traffic levels and lorry weights were envisaged when bridge was first constructed.

      • Pete Stewart
        May 20, 2013 at 6:57 pm

        I remember the new beams being delivered around 1970. British design – best British Steel – British manufacturing – delivered by British heavy haulage – another great bridge built by British labour over the British Rail lines.

        The bridge will no doubt take the weight of the heavy foreign built lorries and the multitude of foreign made cars which it now has to bear and it will no doubt be safe for the foreign made trains which pass underneath, but will the footings tolerate all the extra vibration?

        Will there be an investigation to find out WHY the damage occurred? Does it suggest subsidence? Was the concrete OK? Is it insufficient maintenance caused by lack of funds caused by Britain paying £53 million a day to prop up our EU competitors (oops, sorry, that was off topic and kind of just worked its way in there)!

  11. Craig
    May 19, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Is the bridge still closed ,my husbands travels the bridge every morning to get to chickenhall lane ?

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      May 19, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      Yes Bridge re-opened at 16.20 after Network rail gave all clear.
      Eastleigh Police said closure was purely precautionary and at no time were members of public in any danger.

  12. Anne Romaine
    May 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Many moons ago there was talk about having a second bridge as a back up in case of such problems but nothing happened. Good that there was a quick response today, but I see from your photo that Cllr Moore hasn’t quite forgotten his Lib Dem training of pointing at everything!

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      May 19, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      Blame me for photo! I love pics of councillors pointing at things!

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      May 20, 2013 at 9:44 am

      I really like the two bridge idea – regardless of whether we get a by-pass. Where the money comes from of course is a bit of a problem. Just print it I guess.

      When I lived in Fair Oak 30 years ago I remember getting excited over talk of a rapid transit monorail linking Fair Oak to Eastleigh running on an elevated trackway.

      I think there was also talk at the time of a similar scheme linking Gosport to Fareham which also died a death.

  13. Pete Stewart
    May 20, 2013 at 9:31 am

    ANNA M.

    Your cynicism is understandable given today’s political climate. But such cynicism is seriously misplaced when it comes to bridge defects.

    Well done to UKIP activist Paul Rice for taking the time and effort to report a potentially life threatening problem.

    Well done to UKIP Councillor Andy Moore for taking the right action at the right time.

    Well done to the Police for shutting the bridge.

    Anything less than this would have been gross negligence. And if it means inconveniencing traffic, that’s tough. It’s better that, than killing someone by neglect.

    The engineers have now inspected the bridge and judged that it is safe. But hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    Anyone who understands bridges (especially bridges over railway lines) will be aware that the imminent collapse of a bridge (partial or complete) is preceded by apparently trivial symptoms.

    Spalling of concrete is always to be treated with the utmost gravity until engineers have inspected the structure.

    With trains passing under the bridge, had a piece of the bridge broken off and killed a train driver, what then?

    Had a cyclist been thrown off their bicycle by the protruding bolt, and killed, what then?

    So well done UKIP for spotting the problem and setting in motion the repair work.

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