PLANNERS undertaking the bridge demolition works on the A31 at Ringwood say they are on schedule ahead of upcoming closures and construction work.

After more than a month of work on both west and eastern sections of the River Avon bridge, the final beams are expected to be removed today (Saturday, June 18) ahead of further works later this month and into July.

The massive 750-tonne crane which has dominated the skyline above the A31 since mid-May will remain on site throughout Saturday until the final beam has been removed.

Demolition of the Bickerley Millstream Bridge will commence in late June. As this bridge is a single span, it will be removed as a single section. Like the River Avon Bridge demolition, it will be dismantled and cut into pieces before being removed from site.

Following this, further drainage works will be carried out on the A31 in mid-July for two weeks – resulting in more overnight closures.

Video by Tony Thompson

The A31 eastbound lanes between the Ashley Heath roundabout and the M21 J1 at Cadnam will be closed overnight during the hours of 8pm to 6am from Monday, July 11 to Friday 15. Road users will be diverted via the A338 (Spur Road), A3060, A35, A326 or A336.

A National Highways spokesperson said: “We’ll be carrying out drainage works on the A31 in mid-June and mid-July. To do this safely, we’ll need to close the A31 to either east or westbound traffic.

“We understand closures on this stretch of the A31 are disruptive, we’re working to keep them to a minimum while delivering our improvements. The work will be done overnight, between 8pm and 6am, when traffic is at its lowest.”

Construction of the brand new A31 bridges will begin in mid-August with the delivery of the beams that will form the supports of the future bridge decks.

The spokesperson added: “Work is currently on programme and we expect to reopen the A31 westbound by the end of November.”