Heavy duty propping beneath the arches of Baginton Mill bridge make sure they remain safe while stones are replaced.
Heavy duty propping beneath the arches of Baginton Mill bridge make sure they remain safe while stones are replaced.

A team of stonemasons is currently replacing and refacing over 350 masonry blocks as part of a project led by Warwickshire County Council to restore the Grade II listed, Baginton Mill Bridge.

This project is being jointly funded by the Department for Transport's Challenge Fund and Warwickshire County Council.   

  

The aim of the project, which began in June and is due to be completed in the new year, is to repair the bridge and ensure it remains safe for vehicle use now and into the future, as well as to restore this important piece of cultural heritage. It is one of eight projects in the County Council’s £6.3m programme to repair Warwickshire’s historic road bridges.  

  

Baginton Mill bridge is formed of three brick arches with sandstone elevations. Routine inspections found the condition of this sandstone to be severely eroded after centuries of weathering.  

  

The project has been delayed by two incidents of vehicles colliding into and damaging the bridge’s stone parapet walls. The first of these occurred three weeks before the start of the project, while the second collision earlier this month, caused significant structural damage. Repairing this additional damage has meant the project will take longer to complete than first planned. It is expected the bridge will be restored and the road fully reopened in early 2023.   

  

Most of the work is being undertaken from below the road. The impact on drivers, pedestrians and the environment has been kept to a minimum by keeping the road open using temporary traffic signals and providing a temporary footbridge alongside the existing bridge.  

  

Only the most severely eroded stonework is being replaced, so that much of the original fabric of the structure is retained and the bridge’s heritage value is protected. Nearly 60 of the stone replacements are load bearing arch stones, weighing over half a tonne each. Removing these results in a temporary weakening of the structure, which has required heavy duty propping beneath the arches to make sure they remain safe while the stones are replaced.  

  

Cllr Wallace Redford, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Transport and Highways says:    

  

“There’s a great deal of work to be done to repair this bridge which has been eroded through centuries of wear, with additional damage from recent road traffic collisions.  The repairs need to be undertaken sensitively to retain the historic integrity of the structure, so it is taking a little more time than you might expect. Baginton Mill Bridge is a really important heritage asset for the local community, as well as the county as a whole. So please bear with us during the disruption and we’ll get the bridge fully open as soon as possible.”  

  

The repairs to the east side of the bridge are nearing completion and the remaining arch stone replacements on the west side will follow.  

  

Further details on the Historic Bridge Maintenance Programme can be found on the Council’s website: Historic bridge maintenance programme – Warwickshire County Council  

  

Published: 24th November 2022