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A338 Wantage Road bridge to stay open during £2bn rail electrification upgrade

A338 Wantage Road bridge to stay open during 2bn rail electrification upgrade

Plans have been confirmed to keep the A338 Wantage Road bridge in Grove open after Network Rail addressed concerns raised by stakeholders including residents, businesses and Oxfordshire County Council.

As part of a £2bn investment to electrify the Great Western, Network Rail planned to close the road for six months to rebuild the bridge higher to accommodate the new overhead power lines, improving journeys for passengers and helping support economic growth across the region.

However, following discussions with Oxfordshire County Council on Tuesday 20th May 2014, Network Rail put forward a proposal for the road bridge to remain open to traffic during the work. The new bridge will be built off-site, keeping disruption to a minimum.

The work will begin in November 2014 and is scheduled to be complete by summer 2015.

Two other bridges in the area, the A417 Challow Road in Denchworth and B4017 Steventon High Street will be demolished and rebuilt consecutively. Unlike the A338 Wantage Road bridge, the two bridges will close to all traffic during the work owing to land restrictions and limited site access.

The A417 Challow Road bridge closes from September to December 2014. In Steventon, the B4017 road bridge will close from January 2015 to August 2015.

Nigel Fenn, Network Rail senior programme manager said: “This work will deliver quicker journeys for the ever-growing number of passengers on the Great Western line, helping to bring communities closer together and boost the regional economy.

“We thank people in advance for their patience as we continue our plans to build a better railway for the South West and Thames Valley. This is an exciting time for the Great Western as we upgrade and electrify the route to transform our diesel railway into one of the most modern in Europe, providing more seats, even faster journeys and cleaner and quieter trains.”

“We are keen to keep disruption to a minimum for residents and businesses.”

Network Rail will continue to work closely with Oxfordshire County Council to keep local communities informed as proposals develop.

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