By Gary Smee Thursday 20 September 2012 Updated: 20/09 15:17
PARTS of two Evesham car parks and a children's play area will close next month as work to replace Abbey Bridge and Viaduct gets underway.
Contractors will be using some of Crown Meadow and Viaduct Meadow car parks as a base for heavy machinery during the 12-month project which gets underway on Wednesday, October 10.
The adjoining children's play area will also be closed for safety reasons.
Hochtief Construction, which is carrying out the replacement, will begin setting up their equipment on October 10 and initial construction work on the bridge is set to begin at the end of that month but no changes to the normal traffic arrangements will be needed until after the Christmas and New Year period.
BT will also be conducting be some preparatory works from October 8, which will require lanes to be closed and temporary traffic lights at the junction of Pershore Road/Cheltenham Road and Waterside.
But to minimise any disruption temporary traffic lights replacing the permanent traffic signals will only be used during the weekends of October 13/14 and 20/21.
Peter Blake, Head of Integrated Transport at Worcestershire County Council, said: "Major projects like this vital replacement of the Abbey Bridge and Viaduct require designated areas for machinery and a certain amount of distance allocated to ensure people are not in any danger whilst the work takes place.
"Keeping people safe is our top priority so fencing off this area is essential. Risks simply cannot be taken, especially when it comes to children playing near what will be a busy building site.
"I would like to encourage people to continue to support the town by using the other nearby parks, open spaces and parking facilities in the area throughout the scheme."
The playground in Abbey Park will remain open and access to Evesham Rowing Club and Crown and Corporation Meadows will also remain throughout the entire duration of the scheme.
Shawn Riley, Evesham Market Town Partnership manager, said they had been working hard to minimise disruption.
"We have been working closely with Worcestershire County Council and Evesham Market Town Partnership to deliver a package of measures that have been agreed with members of the Vale of Evesham Commerce and Tourism Association (VECTA)," he added.
"The measures will include the launch in October of Evesham's loyalty card, YES, which will reward residents for shopping locally in Evesham. Business grants and support for Evesham’s independent retailers, as well as car park charging concessions for shoppers when the bridge is closed to traffic next year, will also be available. Further details on all of the measures will be announced as the scheme rolls out in the coming weeks."
For more information on parks and open spaces in Evesham log on to Wychavon District Council's website www.wychavon.gov.uk/parks.
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