Delays to continue as road works hit 'unforeseen' snags

February 26 2018

DRIVERS can expect delays on the ring road near Downend until the beginning of May.

DRIVERS can expect delays on the ring road near Downend until the beginning of May.

The repairs to the 1960s Bromley Heath viaduct, which have reduced the A4174 to two lanes instead of four since last summer, have hit a snag.

It means the contraflow will not be removed at the end of this month and the programme will not be completed within 33 weeks as had been hoped, although it is still likely to be finished in less than the year that was anticipated originally. 

Work is continuing on site seven days a week and the latest information can be found at or

A spokesman for South Gloucestershire Council said: “We’re now at the stage where the nature of the work which is left to do must all be carried out consecutively and many of the tasks, such as concreting one of the parapets and plinths, waterproofing and resurfacing the new deck are all weather dependent.”

Colin Hunt, cabinet member for transport and a councillor for Emersons Green, apologised to road users for the inconvenience.

“We have done all that we can to carry out these essential works as quickly as we can and to help minimise the impact to people’s journeys,” he said. “This has included working longer days, at weekends and at night where possible and our main focus now is to get the contraflow removed from the A4174 ring road by the end of April.

“With a project of this scale we have run into some unforeseen difficulties along the way, such as it taking longer to construct the vast scaffolding structure which is required for people to work safely under the viaduct. And the additional time needed to remove some of the concrete from the steel girder which supports the structure. However, on the whole, the progress that has been made to date cannot be under estimated and I would like to thank local residents and road users for their continued patience as we continue with these vital improvements to the viaduct.”

Other works, which do not require the contraflow, remain on schedule and will continue until June, the council says.

The council has written to local schools asking children to suggest items to go into a time capsule  to be placed at the site.


Viaduct facts and figures

 • Preparatory work started in April 2017, the contraflow went live in July 2017

• More than a million litres of water were used for the hydro-demolition process which involved removing concrete from the old structure using high pressure water jets

• Weekend work has been carried out every weekend since July 2017

• 47,500 metres of scaffold tube with 15,000 fittings were used to make the scaffolding structure which allows people to work below the ring road safely

• The scaffolding houses 9,000 metres of scaffold board which laid end to end would take you from Bromley Heath to College Green in central Bristol

• The scaffolding has been designed to support a total load of 400 tonnes 

• Six to eight people worked on constructing the scaffolding seven days a week from the end of August to December last year

• The structure also features a section of bridging beams to allow the scaffolding to span 20 metres across the River Frome. It has been designed to resist a water flow of three metres per second, should flooding occur

• Since the project began, the council's  road safety team has worked with nine local schools to encourage other ways of getting to school which has seen an  increase in the number of pupils who are now actively travelling to school. This includes walking, park and stride, scooter, bus etc.