By Christian Barnett – Local Democracy Reporter
A further £7 million to build three new bridges over the Southern Link Road looks set to be approved by cabinet this week.
A report, to be discussed by Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet on Thursday, said failing to build three bridges over the A4440 would “seriously affect” improvements to capacity on the roads, the reduction in congestion, improvement in air quality and the various factors that support economic growth in the county as a result of the dualling.
The bridges will be built between the Ketch and Whittington roundabouts, with the Broomhall Way footbridge to the west of the Norton roundabout. The Crookbarrow Way footbridge and a bridge, which will link the two halves of Upper Battenhall farm, will be built either side of the new Battenhall railway bridge.
Money to pay for the Crookbarrow Way and ‘Farm Accommodation’ bridges was allocated by the council in September 2014 as part of the project to the dual the Southern Link Road but the council says it now needs more money.
The council says the bridges need to be constructed in the next 18 months to ensure the westbound approach lanes to the Norton roundabout can be opened, both sides of the A4440 can be opened to pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders and the cycle links to the new Worcestershire Parkway railway station can be opened.
Developers Seven Capital, St Modwen and Welbeck have agreed to pay for the Broomhall Way bridge so future housing developments to the south are not cut off from the city. Cabinet also looks set to agree to submit a planning application for the bridge.
The council expects £500,000 to be paid by the developers by mid-2020 with the full £3.5 million handed over by 2022.