M3 Bagshot Heath footbridge
We’re replacing the footbridge which carries footpath 184 over the M3 connecting Whitmoor Road, Bagshot and Lightwater Country Park.
Weekend full closure
We are planning the demolition of the footbridge during the second weekend in December. The demolition will require the M3 to be fully closed in both directions:
- 9pm Friday 8 to 6am Monday 11 December
During the weekend closure, there will be signed diversion routes in place as follows:
- Southbound full closure of Junction 3 to Junction 4:
All vehicles exit at M3 South junction 3, turn right onto A322 and continue for approximately 1 mile before turning left onto the A30 London Road. After approximately 4.5 miles turn left on to the A331 and then rejoin the M3 Southbound at Junction 4.
- Northbound full closure of Junction 4a to Junction 3:
All vehicles exit at M3 junction 4a onto the A327 for approximately 1.8 miles, turn right on to the A30 continue for approximately 7.1 miles and turn right onto Grove End link road, turning left onto the A322, before turning left to rejoin the M3 Northbound at Junction 3.
- Northbound on-slip closure of Junction 4 (approaching from Frimley):
All vehicles from Junction 4, continue along the A331 and then turn right onto the A30 London Road. After approximately 4.5miles turn right onto the A322 and then rejoin the M3 Northbound at Junction 3.
We always aim to work to the programme, however unforeseen circumstances or adverse weather conditions may mean changes.
Why is the footbridge closed to pedestrians?
The results of a structural review in September highlighted issues with the bridges capacity to withstand collision loading from over height vehicles on the M3 Motorway underneath it.
After discussing these findings with Surrey County Council (SCC) and Surrey Heath, it was agreed the bridge needed to be closed with immediate effect to maintain the safety of those travelling over and underneath.
What are the alternative routes for pedestrians?
The local community may be familiar with the alternative underpasses either side of the bridge and crossing points at Lightwater interchange. We’ve taken on board feedback regarding the condition of these footpaths, and will be making improvements including:
• Removing vegetation
• Addressing localised flooding
• Repairing faulty lighting
We hope that these improvements will allow pedestrians who use these routes to feel safer doing so. In liaison with Surrey Heath and SCC, we’ll also check the approach paths are suitable.
Will the footbridge be repaired or replaced?
The structural issues cannot be repaired, so the bridge will need to be demolished and replaced.
Why wasn’t I notified in advance of the closure, and how will you be communicating in future?
We had to react quickly once we knew the safety of the footbridge was of concern. The speed of this decision meant that not everyone who would be impacted received communication of this action in advance. Please accept our apologies for any disruption caused by the immediate closure.
We’ve now sent notification postcards to residents in the area, and emails to local stakeholders such as businesses and schools advising of alternative pedestrian routes to use. We’ve also written to and met with the local MP Michael Gove and county councillors to discuss our next steps.
If you’d like to receive email updates about this work, you can sign up on the right hand side of this webpage, where we’ll add the latest information as our plans progress.
When will the footbridge be demolished?
We are planning the demolition of the footbridge during the second weekend in December. The demolition will require the M3 to be fully closed in both directions from 9pm Friday 8 December to 6am Monday 11 December 2023. You can find further details in the ‘Upcoming closures’ section of this page.
Why does it take so long to plan the demolition of a footbridge?
The footbridge is a post tensioned structure, and to safely demolish them takes careful planning. This is due to the explosive release when the wires holding the bridge together are cut. We need to ensure that concrete is safely captured when breaking down the bridge deck, protecting the road and other infrastructure below, including the adjacent gantries. In addition, we need to survey the verges in advance to:
• provide protection for power cables and services to ensure the works can be undertaken safely
• seek approval from Natural England on the environmental aspects, as we are working near a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
When will the new footbridge be installed?
We’re actively progressing plans for a replacement footbridge. This requires:
- ground investigation (Geotechnical) surveys
- environmental surveys
- considering and developing options
- undertaking design
- steel fabrication (which can take up to 6 months), and installation.
The proposal for the new bridge is Autumn 2025, but we are trying hard to better this date. We acknowledge this drawn out disruption for the local community, and hope the new footbridge will enhance the experience for those in the area, accommodating both pedestrians and cyclists.
Why is the footbridge closed but the road remains open underneath?
The overall structure remains safe for compliant vehicles less than 4.9m in height to pass underneath. Warning signs with height restrictions have been placed on the M3 in lanes 3 and 4 where the bridge is at its lowest. We’ve also made the Police and hauliers who deal with abnormal load vehicles aware of the new height restrictions.
Following a structural review concluded on Thursday 28 September 2023, we’ve closed the footbridge with immediate effect. The review highlighted issues about the structure’s capacity to withstand collision loading from over height vehicles on the M3 Motorway.
We discussed these findings with Surrey County Council (SCC) and Surrey Heath on Monday 2 October 2023 as they manage the footpath. It was agreed that due to these concerns the footbridge should be closed the same day.
We hope the new footbridge will enhance the experience for those in the area, accommodating both pedestrians and cyclists.
The local communities may be familiar with the alternative underpasses either side of the bridge and crossing points at Lightwater interchange.
We’ve taken on board feedback regarding the condition of the footpaths, and we will be making improvements including removing vegetation, addressing localised flooding and repairing faulty lighting. In liaison with Surrey Heath and Surrey County Council we will also check the approach paths for suitability.