M3 Footbridge Closure
Published: 03 October 2023
M3 footbridge closure Footpath 184 Windlesham from Whitmoor Road to Lightwater Country Park
We have been informed by SCC Countryside Access Officer that the footbridge which carries footpath 184 Windlesham from Whitmoor Road to Lightwater Country Park has been declared unsafe.
The bridge is apparently too low and was listed to be raised by 300mm. On carrying out a full inspection prior to works starting National Highways found that the structure has previously been damaged by vehicle strikes which has meant that it cannot be repaired and will need to be replaced. The damage is such that should the bridge be struck again the deck could detach from its supports and fall onto the carriageway.
Records show that the bridge has been subject to 4 previous vehicle strikes.
National Highways have explored possible mitigations for this but have concluded that the bridge cannot be made safe and so they have listed it for demolition within the next two months. They have requested that SCC close the bridge with immediate effect to remove the risk to pedestrians until the bridge can be removed.
Given that a vehicle strike to the bridge could result in its collapse and likely death of any person on the bridge at the time it has been agreed that the bridge will close as from 0600 hrs on the 3rd October 2023.
National Highways have stated that the closure will be required for 24 months to allow time for the design, commission and installation of the new structure.
They have agreed to an upgrade of the bridge so that the new structure will be able to carry a bridleway and provide a cycle link over the M3 to the benefit of the Rights of Way network and local residents.