Station Road Bridge
The bridge, near the former Southfleet Station, Kent, carries the B262 over the former Gravesend West Branch. Built in the 1880s, the line captured river traffic from Southend and Clacton via Gravesend Pier.
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Location: Gravesham, north-west Kent
Status: Seeking planning permission for work from Dartford Borough Council
Railways on the north side of the Thames had extended to towns like Gravesham, providing shorter and cheaper journey times.
The branch stayed open for local traffic to and from Farningham until 1953, when passenger services were withdrawn between Southfleet and Gravesend West.
Movement of freight continued as there was a flow of coal to power the Northfleet Cement Works, but this line eventually closed in 1976.
About the structure
Historically, Station Road bridge has been described as "poor" in its condition during both visual and detailed examinations. The cutting beneath the bridge was partially infilled on both sides by unknown parties, leaving limited access and making examinations difficult and unsafe. The wingwalls have been completely buried, with debris collecting beneath the bridge over the years.
The two-span bridge, comprising of six longitudinal girders has no weight restriction applied by the Local Highway Authority despite it having been assessed as having a capacity of 7.5 Tonnes in 2007. We’ve discussed with the Highways Authority the possibility of installing a Trief (anti mount) kerb or barrier to prevent loading to the weaker edge girder (located on the north), however the installation of such a kerb would only increase the bridge’s capacity to 18 Tonnes which is insufficient for the vehicle loads it carries. In addition, to the north, girder issues to the bottom flanges could soon present further problems, creating greater risk of the bridge failing without warning, should it be overloaded.
In cases where a bridge is unable to safely carry required load, we recommend the relevant Highways Authority apply a weight restriction. However, we understand the need for the road to remain open, without a restriction as indicated by both the Parish Council and Kent County Council as Highway Authority. It is therefore on this basis that we are proposing to infill the bridge as a long-term support and safety solution for the road’s continued unrestricted use.
What is the project?
Completion of infill below the bridge and any preliminary works such as vegetation removal before main works begin.
What stage is it at?
Following full Stakeholder Advisory Forum (SAF) discussion, the Secretary of State for Transport has approved our recommended approach to apply for planning permission to complete the infill of this structure. We’ll apply to Dartford Borough Council in due course.
We’re in discussion with all relevant stakeholders about our proposal and will regularly update this page when we have further information to share.
Use the arrows to browse through the images of Station Road Bridge.