Leading wet civil engineering specialists, Land & Water, has been appointed by Merton Council to build a new road bridge over the River Wandle in Mitcham. The new Bishopsford Bridge will replace the previous structure, which had to be demolished for safety reasons after partially collapsing following heavy rainfall in June 2019. Land & Water was contracted by Merton Council to carry out the demolition work last spring.
Replacing the bridge is a particularly complex task because it influences river flow and has a range of utilities running through its structure. During the project, a temporary cofferdam to the north and south side of the bridge will be installed, while work takes place underwater.
The new river crossing, along the A217, will be wider than the previous bridge, to include a northbound segregated cycle lane and a wider shared southbound pavement and cycle space. The new design has a single span, rather than three arches like the old bridge.
Land & Water’s ongoing environmental commitment has been reflected in its choice of specialist plant, which minimises noise. The river banks border Watermeads Nature reserve and the plans will help promote biodiversity in the river and on its banks.
Construction Director at Land & Water, Kevin Kirkland said: “We are looking forward to returning to Mitcham to build a new bridge at this key river crossing.
“It is a particularly challenging project because the bridge influences river flow and has a range of utilities running through its structure. We will be working closely with Merton Council to safely build a new bridge to replace the 200-year-old previous structure. The new bridge is designed both to meet the demands of today’s traffic and to encourage people to make more journeys by bike or on foot.
“Land and Water is committed to improving the environment around its engineering works.”