Oxford City Council is working in partnership with contractor Stantec and Oxfordshire County Council to refurbish and strengthen the Gasworks Pipe Bridge.
The bridge, which links the Isis towpath with Friars Wharf and St Ebbe’s in Oxford city centre, was closed in March 2021 after a structural report identified that it was at risk of collapse, meaning there was no choice but to immediately close the bridge.
Oxford City Council’s consultant Stantec undertook a detailed options appraisal to help determine the best course of action for the Gasworks Pipe Bridge. After the exercise had been completed it was decided that refurbishment rather than replacement would be the preferred option. This is welcome as it is a much shorter and less costly process. To progress the refurbishment option Stantec developed the initial designs, which have now been be approved by the Technical Approval Authority, Oxfordshire County Council.
Stantec will now proceed with preparing the detailed designs for the project, to be submitted for sign off by Oxfordshire County Council in October.
The procurement process to appoint a contractor is now underway and should be completed in December. Subject to securing approval for the detailed designs, work on the bridge will then start in early 2023 and should be complete in the summer, allowing the bridge to reopen.
Alternative crossing points are available at the Gasworks Railway Bridge and Folly Bridge with diversions in place. The routes will be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure they remain lit as the evenings become darker.
“The City Council and its partners appreciate the difficulties caused by the bridge closure and we’ll ensure that the diversion routes via Folly Bridge and the Gasworks Bridge continue to be inspected and remain in a good condition with decent signage and leaf clearance. Bluntly, we are desperate to get this sorted as soon as possible for the communities that need the bridge.
“The work to refurbish the bridge is progressing well and we can now all look forward to it being reopened next summer.”
Cllr Ed Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management