Building the New Bridge

Towards the end of 2003 it was announced that the bridge across the Chitterne Brook on the B390 was to be replaced. It was proposed to close the road at its junction with the C class road to Codford from 19 January 2004 for approximately 12 weeks, to allow the road bridge over the Chitterne Brook to be brought up to standard. An alternative route via the Codford road was offered with traffic controlled by traffic lights. Pedestrians from the main part of the village could still access the pub and the rest of the B390 by means of a temporary footbridge erected across the brook between the entrance to St Mary's Close and Bridge Cottage.

Villagers were taken aback by this announcement as they could see no faults in the existing bridge. But later we learnt that inspectors were dubious about the strength of the metal reinforcing rods in the concrete underside of the bridge, which did not meet current standards.

Even though the contractors worked very quickly, and completed the project in under 6 weeks, the closure of the road had dire consequences for the King's Head public house, which was just beginning to build up a reputation for food under a new landlord, after a major refit and relaunch in 2002. Business, especially from through traffic, never recovered and the landlord left later in 2004.

23rd January 2004: the road is closed and the contractors have ripped out the original concrete and metal reinforcing rods by 25 January

28 January: the brook is filling..31 January: installing a metal support platform 2 February: more beams and sheets of board on top

4 February: erecting shuttering and laying the new metal reinforcing in place, ready by 6 February

7 February: the concrete arrives, it's pumped up and over the power lines and is levelled and left to harden. 11 February: concrete protected from frost

16 Feb: The concrete uncovered and the end beams in place. 18/20 Feb: spraying and covering the concrete and making good the join

21 Feb: the new bridge 3 March: new parapet fences and kerbstones installed, getting ready for pavements

4 Mar: resurfacing 5 Mar: almost finished 6 Mar: white lines painted...done in half the time, only six weeks!